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Maximum Marine owner pleads not guilty to numerous charges

2013-11-01T06:00:00Z Maximum Marine owner pleads not guilty to numerous chargesBy DEREK BROUWER Independent Record Helena Independent Record
November 01, 2013 6:00 am  • 

The owner of a local boating sales and repair store accused of stealing from numerous customers pleaded not guilty to a slew of criminal charges Thursday.

 Shawn William Corbett, owner of Maximum Marine on Canyon Ferry Road, was initially charged with six counts in August, but county attorney Jeff Sealey filed additional charges last week, bringing the total to 10. Seven of those are felonies.

He faces five felony charges of deceptive practices, plus charges for theft and issuing a bad check. Each of those charges comes with a maximum sentence of 10 years and $50,000.

Additionally, Corbett is charged with misdemeanor theft, deceptive practices and violating the consumer protection act.

The cases described in the state’s affidavit depict a pattern of taking payment for repair work but never completing the repairs, and in some cases never ordering the parts.

In one instance, Corbett is said to have cashed a $9,300 check from Northern Energy in 2011 to purchase and install a new boat engine. Despite a series of alleged promises and excuses, Corbett did not complete the work that year.

In fall 2012, the affidavit states, Corbett told the boat owner that it would be resolved within a week, as oil had been found on his wife’s land in North Dakota and he was quitting the boat business. Again last August, Corbett allegedly promised the repair would be completed within a week. The repairs apparently still have not been completed.

The same was the case for Jennifer Gerondale, who paid Corbett nearly $3,000 to repair her boat last year. In May, a deputy from the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office aided in Gerondale’s recovery of the boat, which was never repaired, but no refund has yet been obtained.

In other cases customers’ money was recovered but only after undergoing civil litigation.

All offenses are alleged to have occurred since 2011.

Records from the Montana Secretary of State’s office show that the business certificate for Maximum Marine was involuntarily dissolved in December 2011 for failing to submit a required annual report, though the business continued to operate.

Another boat business named Valley Marine, LLC was registered at the same address in June of this year.

Corbett declined comment Thursday afternoon, and attorney Mike Doggett did not return a call left Wednesday.

After the first set of charges was filed, Corbett strongly denied any wrongdoing to an IR reporter.

“I never took nobody’s money,” he said at the time.

Corbett said he was “taken advantage of” by his bank, which he accused of mismanaging his funds.

His trial is set for January 27, 2014. 

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(17) Comments

  1. faith2013
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    faith2013 - November 03, 2013 7:22 pm
    All I can say is I know his wife is a good human being. I have known her since she was very young. She worked with me when she was in high school and college. Hard working and very honest. My heart breaks for her. While I haven't crossed paths with her for some time, I am certainly thinking of her now and hope she is okay.
  2. Quigley
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    Quigley - November 03, 2013 3:20 pm
    I took my boat to him in 2009 and his initial diagnosis was it needed an oil change, later he said the motor needed to be be rebuilt. He demanded $3500 up front for parts. After many unfulfilled promises and another $3000 and a year later I picked up my boat even though it had not been repaired and took it to another repair shop who fixed it. We sued him in civil court and the jury said he had no responsibility. . I hope justice will finally be served.
  3. Bruin97
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    Bruin97 - November 03, 2013 12:23 pm
    Corbett is not a good person. I don’t know how he is as a father. All I know is that he has hired a nanny to watch his kids in the summer and uses the Gym as a daycare. He will drop them off at the gym under the age of 13 and leave. I suppose it depends on your definition of a good father.

    I hope no one takes out his actions out on his kids. Maybe his wife isn’t innocent but in my experience Shawn has been really manipulative with her. He lives a lifestyle that most women would not be comfortable with. I doubt the IR will post this if I get into to many details. My understanding is that she doesn’t want him to do that either. I’m sure if you wrote him a check he cashed it and told her he was buying parts. I could be wrong but this guy is a slime ball and she should have left him a long time ago.

    In my opinion her only crime is believing anything Shawn ever told her and staying with him. I could be wrong but I know she works hard and actually has a job. He uses her for money as much as any of the people he has manipulated with his business.

    I think there should be a law about people that start numerous businesses and let them involuntarily dissolve. Corbett isn’t the only person that has done this. If your business is involuntarily dissolved then you shouldn’t be able to start another one until it has pay all of its debt and filed financial statements and taxes.
  4. skooter
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    skooter - November 03, 2013 9:13 am
    I knew this guy was a tool from the day I met him. Always asked me why I didn't bring my boat to him for work or storage...this is exactly why.

    And sorry Helena2480, but if someone doesn't want their dirty laundry and crimes aired in the IR (or around town)...then they should feel free to not commit them and be an honest businessman. The stories & issues that his kids witness are exactly on him and him only (and his wife if culpable). Let's stop blaming the messenger.

    Good luck to all his victims on getting (at least some of) your money back.
  5. Quigley
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    Quigley - November 02, 2013 10:46 am
    After a full year at Shawn's, our boat motor was also in a disassembed state when we went over there to bring the boat home.. I remember his testimony in court when he implied we weren't allowing enough time ....saying he had other customers to take care of. We had already missed out on one entire boating season, we weren't going to let him take another season from us. We made an appointment with another business. They fixed our boat and it was ready to go within a few days, as promised. That's how it's suppose to work. But Shawn kept all of our money.
    Jodeman ... your story is so upsetting! Please make the contacts you need to and pursue restitution. .
  6. chopperchick
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    chopperchick - November 02, 2013 9:55 am
    If you have been a victim of Shawn's poor business habits, I advise you to contact the Investigating Officer Dan O'Malley at the Lewis & Clark County Sherriff's Office. As far as I am concerned, the stronger the case, the better! None of us derserved the treatment we received at Maximum Marine, and I do not want anyone else to experience that kind of deception, especially knowing that he started ANOTHER business!! Please step up and put him out of business permanently!!
  7. chopperchick
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    chopperchick - November 02, 2013 9:48 am
    I don't think anyone here is taking stabs at Shawn or his parenting skills. I have been to the hockey games, seen him in public with his family and have seen myself what an enthusiastic supporter of his children he can be. Nonetheless, it does not change his actions or the interpretation of those actions of Shawn when it comes to business. Ultimately he needs to come to the realization that all actions have consequences, even the unintended actions of harming or embarrassing his family. No respectable person, especially the victims of his poor business management skills, is responsible for what his children see and hear as a result...most of us are parents too.
  8. Quigley
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    Quigley - November 02, 2013 8:12 am
    This has little to do with parenting (other than setting a very bad example). Shawn has taken large sums of money from many people who trusted him as a "business man". He kept their money, promised many things, used incredible stall tactics, and kept their valuable property as long as he could. I don't know how you can possibly think that's acceptable. He should have thought about the possible consequences, and how it would affect his children, before he took the low road.
    He got $5000.00 from us ... lied to us too many times to count .... never repaired our boat and we had to pay someone else MORE money to get it operational. No accusations here, just facts. We sued him, we lost. The jury wanted to believe his claim that he's a hard-working family man who got behind on some things. And look what happened .... he kept doing the same thing to other people. So tell me again how decent you think he is.
  9. Helena2480
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    Helena2480 - November 01, 2013 11:21 pm
    I however think Shawn is a great person as well as an even better father. Owning a small business has many ups and downs. I cannot believe the things people post for everyone to read just to add one more little stab at him. How (if you had children) would you feel if people were going around and rubbing accusations around town just for your child to hear. No one deserves that especially the innocent! I also know there are two sides to every story so why dwell on one side. Not everyone is going to agree with each other. The harsh reality is that there are several factors involved with each and every person involved.
  10. sleepywaters
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    sleepywaters - November 01, 2013 9:47 pm
    Sorry, but she is not a victim. In my case -- I am one of the people named in the current charges against Shawn, he had me write the check to her in HER presence, then he handed the check directly to her. and she put it in her personal account. He never bought be a motor, never ordered me a motor. They spent that money on themselves. She knows exactly what's going on.
  11. sleepywaters
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    sleepywaters - November 01, 2013 9:41 pm
    Jodeman, Have you gone to authorities? You NEED to. Call the county attorney's office and ask for Jeff Sealey. You are right, there are a LOT of us who have been victimized and I know there are a lot more who have, for whatever reason, not gone to authorities to file charges. I hope you will. The extent of this man's deceit grows every day and the only way we can ensure that he does time and that he never ever gets to take our money again is for all his victims to step forward.You're right about his wife too, but until more of you step up and SHOW that she was involved, she gets to pretend to be innocent
  12. Quigley
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    Quigley - November 01, 2013 3:46 pm
    This man is a fraud and his wife is an accomplice. Finally ... it has caught up with them. I hope the IRS has a shot at them soon too.
  13. Jodeman
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    Jodeman - November 01, 2013 12:49 pm
    I meant to say, he was offered 2,000.00 for the boat hull and trailer. Sorry about that.
  14. Jodeman
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    Jodeman - November 01, 2013 12:47 pm
    Here is another story to add to this guy (and his wifes) resume. My stepson took his boat to Shawn right before he was deployed to Afghanistan. His buddy had ran the boat up on a sandbar and damaged the fins, prop, and driveshaft. He wrote for the check upfront since he was being deployed and wouldnt be available to deal with the issues (mistake number 2, 1 being trusting this guy). The check was written to Shawns wife per Shawns request to the tune of about 2900.00. Shawn had told me on at leat 6 occasions that the boat was done and when my stepson got home, it would be polished and clean and ready for the water. I even stopped to get the boat one time because it had been 4 months and Shawn hadnt even started on it. Long story short, when my stepson got back, the boat wasnt done. The money was gone. The engine (10,000.00 engine) was out of it and parted out to fix the boats of people who Shawn had stolen from also. The engine, fins, prop, shaft, engine cover, etc.. are gone. The money is gone also. The boat was valued at approx. 16,000.00 before Shawn got his hands on it. My stepson was offered 2000.00 for the boat and hull about a month ago. He got a quote to fix the boat to the tune of 12-14000.00 but cant afford that.
    I do hope that this POS has to do jail time and pay restitution. I hope my stepson gets a judgement against him and his wife for the money that he wrote to him and for the amount of value the boat that is lost.
    Oh and for those who say his wife is innocent, she has been involved with this little scam from the beginning. She was the party to several of these thousand dollar checks and knew that the work wasnt getting done but they had all this money to spend. I hope she gets jail time or at least probation and restitution also. Both of them are crooked. That is my opinion.
  15. Bruin97
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    Bruin97 - November 01, 2013 8:48 am
    It doesn’t surprise me that his business was involuntarily dissolved then he just starts another one. He learned that from his boating buddy Joe Schmaus, who also had to spend time in Jail last year in Jefferson County. He starts at least one or two new businesses every year that get involuntarily dissolved. The two of them are two peas in a pod.
    Shawn Corbett has dozens of lawsuits against him at the court house. I agree with “Opinionofmyown”, Shawn’s wife is a really nice woman. I hope everyone knows that she is also a victim in this whole situation.
  16. enu_22
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    enu_22 - November 01, 2013 7:47 am
    You missed your calling, Shawn. You should have gone into politics; you'd have gotten away with being sleazy, unethical and crooked.
  17. opinionofmyown
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    opinionofmyown - November 01, 2013 7:21 am
    This man is known for taking people's money and filling their heads with empty promises of getting their boats fixed. How can he plead not guilty when all the proof is in front of him?? It would be one thing if he could admitt to his wrong doings of the community and try and makes things right. Not only that, but he would be a bum on the street if he didnt have a hard working wife that he was able to live off of. Not to mention the "swinger" life that Corbett oh so enjoys.
    This man deserves the maximum punishment and I hope everyone that he has screwed over gets their funds back one way or another.

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