A Mill Valley couple who ran a Sausalito yacht brokerage pleaded guilty in Marin County Superior Court on Thursday to embezzlement and grand theft charges. Clay Prescott, 65, pleaded guilty to theft or embezzlement from an elder or dependent adult and misappropriation of another person’s property and his wife Teresa, 49, pleaded guilty to grand theft, Deputy District Attorney Linda Witong said. The couple, who owned ABC Yachts, also admitted the loss exceeded $65,000, Witong said. Clay Prescott faces a maximum of five years and eight months and Teresa Prescott faces up to four years in prison as part of their plea agreement when they are sentenced April 6, Witong said. Sausalito police said last year the seven known victims lived in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The losses at the time of the couple’s arrest in July were estimated between $250,000 and $300,000, police said. The investigation of the couple’s finances began in April 2009 when the first victim reported the Prescotts brokered the sale of his sailboat and paid him with a $144,000 check from an account containing insufficient funds, police said. Sausalito police Capt. John Rohrbacher said at the time the couple
was paying previous victims of yacht sales with money made from recent sales and were “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” Teresa Prescott’s attorney Anthony Lowenstein said this morning the couple ran “an integrity filled business over the past 20 years but made a mistake when the economy went bad.” He said his client admitted the loss was $144,000 and the couple plans to reimburse their customers for their losses. Lowenstein said the
Prescotts have no prior criminal record and he hopes they will be given probation instead of prison.
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