Business

Ex-Boise boat maker will answer fraud charges in Boise in 3 weeks

Rachel and Christopher Bohnenkamp operated a jet boat tour business in the Niagara Falls area of New York, after moving there from Boise.
Rachel and Christopher Bohnenkamp operated a jet boat tour business in the Niagara Falls area of New York, after moving there from Boise.

A former Boise custom jet boat builder who is charged with fraud will be arraigned next month in federal court in Boise, according to a court filing Tuesday.

Christopher Bohnenkamp, 41, was arrested last week in New York state after a grand jury in Boise indicted him. The indictment accuses him of defrauding customers and vendors by taking payments for jet boats and then not building them.

Bohnenkamp operated Bohnenkamp’s Whitewater Customs and the sales arm of the business, Treasure Valley Marine, in Boise. He moved to New York in 2015 and began a jet boat tour business, Niagara Jet Adventures, near Buffalo.

Bohnenkamp was indicted on charges of wire fraud and bank fraud. He surrendered after a warrant was issued and appeared before a federal magistrate judge in New York. He pleaded not guilty and agreed to return voluntarily to Idaho to face the charges. He will be arraigned Oct. 11 before Magistrate Judge Mikel H. Williams.

Bohnenkamp has been sued by former customers, former business partners, vendors and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

The criminal indictment says Bohnenkamp devised a scheme to defraud customers and his companies’ vendors, promising to deliver boats and trailers to customers and pay vendors for materials they supplied to him on credit. From 2012 through 2014, Bohnenkamp accepted more than $1.6 million in upfront payments from 15 customers but never built and delivered the boats and trailers they ordered, the indictment said.

Before paying those bills and delivering goods to customers, Bohnenkamp accepted $1.7 million more in upfront payments from 13 new customers from May 2014 through December 2014, the indictment said.

Bohnenkamp also is charged with defrauding KeyBank and Washington Trust Bank in connection with about $1 million the banks loaned to six customers to buy boats and trailers.

 

Audrey Dutton: 208-377-6448, @IDS_Audrey

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