Winona man accused of stealing more than $85,000 using fake online company

Andrew Thomas Boaz, 35, of Winona
Andrew Thomas Boaz, 35, of Winona(Smith County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 12:21 PM CST
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SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A Winona man allegedly stole more than $85,000 from a Flint boat dealership by committing credit card fraud over two years.

Andrew Thomas Boaz, 35, has been accused of using a company credit card to transfer funds into his own account, an affidavit revealed.

On Oct. 19, Smith County Sheriff’s Office Detective John Partlow responded to the Nautical Mile Marine dealership in Flint in relation to a reported internal theft.

Store Manager Joe Fancher claimed Boaz, a former employee, had created a fake business name on the payment app Square called “Boat Parts Online” and was using a Nautical company credit card to make fake purchases from this fictitious company, the affidavit states.

Store employees noticed on Oct. 12 that some charges on the company credit card statement did not match existing vendors and listed unique part numbers that belonged to other sellers. After continued research, the affidavit said employees began discussing these charges out loud on Oct. 18 across the showroom floor in an attempt to understand, when Boaz announced that he needed to leave for personal reasons and never came back.

Three fictitious vendors (Boat Parts Online, Hughes Online Marine, and Boaz Mobile Marine SE) were eventually identified. No actual property was bought; funds were transferred directly from Nautical’s credit card to Boaz’s Square account, the affidavit said. The felony charge of theft against Boaz indicates a value between $30,000 and $150,000 was stolen, and bank records mentioned in the affidavit show store losses from 2020-2022 totalling $85,979.29.

Nautical Mile Marine Owner Christopher Knight additionally believes Boaz had been ordering real parts from other vendors to be shipped to his home, where he would resell them, the affidavit stated.

On Oct. 19, the report said Knight called Boaz on a recorded line, and he confessed to stealing the funds but said he had already spent the money and did not know how much he had stolen; Boaz agreed to pay the money back, but was not able to follow through.

The following day, Detective Partlow said he called Boaz, who again confessed and said he was glad to have been caught since he felt so bad about his actions after working at the dealership for nine and a half years. The affidavit said Boaz reiterated that all the money is gone, claiming he needed it to get by.

An arrest warrant for Boaz was issued on Nov. 18 following the receipt of bank records. He was booked on a felony charge of theft of property and released after posting bond on Nov. 19.