A former Lake Havasu City business owner is expected to stand trial in an alleged Ponzi scheme that collapsed less than three years ago.
Tim McDonald, 48, stands accused of more than a dozen counts of felony theft and one count of fraud after a Lake Havasu City Police investigation allegedly showed that McDonald defrauded as many as 20 of his customers through his business, Offshore Custom Marine.
McDonald’s trial initially began with jury selection Dec. 3, but Mohave Superior Court Judge Billy Sipe granted a continuance in the case due to a family emergency on the part of McDonald’s counsel, Tucson attorney Mark Mendoza. According to court records, Sipe ordered McDonald’s trial to begin Feb. 24, with no possibility of another continuance.
According to court records, subpoenas have been issued for 19 witnesses to testify against McDonald on behalf of the state of Arizona, while 20 witnesses could testify on McDonald’s behalf. Although McDonald originally faced 22 counts of felony theft, prosecutors dismissed eight of those counts in December due to alleged victims – many of whom reside in areas throughout the United States – were unable to travel to Havasu to testify.
McDonald is accused of defrauding customers who attempted to sell their watercrafts through his business, by consignment, from 2013 to 2017. According to police, customers saw long delays before receiving payment for their watercraft from McDonald, while others were never paid at all. McDonald abruptly closed his business in 2017 and apparently left town, with 20 of his customers still awaiting payment from the sale of their respective watercraft.
Two of McDonald’s alleged victims saw a photo of him online and reported his location to authorities. McDonald was arrested in Newport Beach, California, where he was allegedly found to be living on a houseboat. McDonald was extradited to Mohave County, and has remained free from custody on $20,000 bond since 2018.