Story last updated at 2:15 p.m. Thursday, August 22, 2002

Boat broker gets four years for scam
by Sepp Jannotta
Staff Writer

Debbie Moore, the boat and permit broker who swindled more than $330,000 from her clients, was sentenced to serve four years in prison Tuesday.

Moore also faces 10 years of probation and must pay restitution to her 15 victims upon release from prison. With time already served and time off her sentence for good behavior, Moore, a first-time offender, could be released on parole before the first of the year.

Several of the victims testified for the sentencing. According to Assistant District Attorney John Wolfe, the stories were those of lives in shambles, with houses repossessed or on the verge, or with no fishing quota shares to make the dry-docked boat pay the bills.

"What struck me was the amount of harm that was done," he said. "You don't typically think that the loss of money is the end of the world, but there were several who had seen their lives ruined by this whole thing."

Wolfe, who described how Moore was taken in by a Nigerian money-laundering scam, said that Moore addressed the court and expressed her regret for what she had done.

"She was kind of tongue-tied," said Matt Pancratz of Homer, perhaps the hardest hit of the victims with the loss of $158,000 worth of halibut quota shares.

"As to whether or not she was remorseful, I don't necessarily agree," said Pancratz, who was under the impression that though investigators found evidence suggesting that money was wired overseas, they were unable to trace up to $100,000 of the stolen money. "Miss Moore says she's a victim of the Nigerian scam, but what about the $100,000 that's unaccounted for? Why hasn't she told anyone where that money is?"

Pancratz said he was under the impression that involuntary bankruptcy proceedings against Moore hadn't located any assets that could be turned over to her creditors or victims. Both Wolfe and Pancratz said the victims aren't expecting much relief in the way of restitution.

According to Judge Harold Brown, Moore will be giving up her permanent fund dividend checks as well as a portion of everything she makes once she's out of prison.

"I don't ever expect to get any significant amount of that money back," Pancratz said, who questioned whether Moore will ever be able to find lucrative employment. "All you have to do is add up the numbers and there's no way it'll ever be a significant amount."

In the meantime, Pancratz said, he is preparing to go to school to become a nurse as part of a state-sponsored vocational rehab.

The toughest part, according to Pancratz, who is raising a 12-year-old daughter, is the fact that he not only lost the money he'd invested in the halibut shares, but since it was a transfer, he lost the earning potential that he would have had with his new shares. He guessed that given the price of halibut, he might have earned $40,000 to $50,000.

HEAD:Boat broker gets four years for scam by Sepp Jannotta Staff Writer Debbie Moore, the boat and permit broker who swindled more than $330,000 from her clients, was sentenced to serve four years in prison Tuesday. Moore also faces 10 years of probation and must pay restitution to her 15 victims upon release from prison. With time already served and time off her sentence for good behavior, Moore, a first-time offender, could be released on parole before the first of the year. Several of the victims testified for the sentencing. According to Assistant District Attorney John Wolfe, the stories were those of lives in shambles, with houses repossessed or on the verge, or with no fishing quota shares to make the dry-docked boat pay the bills. "What struck me was the amount of harm that was done," he said. "You don't typically think that the loss of money is the end of the world, but there were several who had seen their lives ruined by this whole thing." Wolfe, who described how Moore was taken in by a Nigerian money-laundering scam, said that Moore addressed the court and expressed her regret for what she had done. "She was kind of tongue-tied," said Matt Pancratz of Homer, perhaps the hardest hit of the victims with the loss of $158,000 worth of halibut quota shares. "As to whether or not she was remorseful, I don't necessarily agree," said Pancratz, who was under the impression that though investigators found evidence suggesting that money was wired overseas, they were unable to trace up to $100,000 of the stolen money. "Miss Moore says she's a victim of the Nigerian scam, but what about the $100,000 that's unaccounted for? Why hasn't she told anyone where that money is?" Pancratz said he was under the impression that involuntary bankruptcy proceedings against Moore hadn't located any assets that could be turned over to her creditors or victims. Both Wolfe and Pancratz said the victims aren't expecting much relief in the way of restitution. According to Judge Harold Brown, Moore will be giving up her permanent fund dividend checks as well as a portion of everything she makes once she's out of prison. "I don't ever expect to get any significant amount of that money back," Pancratz said, who questioned whether Moore will ever be able to find lucrative employment. "All you have to do is add up the numbers and there's no way it'll ever be a significant amount." In the meantime, Pancratz said, he is preparing to go to school to become a nurse as part of a state-sponsored vocational rehab. The toughest part, according to Pancratz, who is raising a 12-year-old daughter, is the fact that he not only lost the money he'd invested in the halibut shares, but since it was a transfer, he lost the earning potential that he would have had with his new shares. He guessed that given the price of halibut, he might have earned $40,000 to $50,000.

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