In March of 2017, Scott Lindy, a Forsyth County resident, texted a man he had known casually for years, a man who he had heard sold new Carolina Skiff boats for a fraction of their cost. According to an incident report from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, on March 28, 2017 Lindy made a deposit of $9,000 to the man and was guaranteed that a 2017 Sea Chaser 26LX Bay Runner would be delivered to him in February 2018. Around that same time, Devin Smith of Good Hope, in Walton County, found an ad on Craigslist for a Carolina Skiff boat for sale. When Smith called the number on the ad, he was told the boat was no longer for sale, but another boat would be ready in a few months if he paid an $8,000 deposit in cash. On May 2, 2017, Smith allegedly met with the ad’s poster, paid the down payment and signed paperwork guaranteeing the boat would be delivered in late 2017. In May of 2017, Tom Boykin, a resident of Aiken County, South Carolina, answered a similar ad and was told that the boat in the ad had been sold, but the poster could find Boykin a similar boat if he paid a $9,000 down payment. According to an incident report from the Gainesville police department, on May 27, 2017, Boykin met with the poster at United Community Bank in Gainesville, paid the down payment and signed paperwork guaranteeing that his boat would be delivered as promised.