The owners of a prominent Forsyth County fishing guide service who have been accused of making fraudulent investment deals have pled not guilty to multiple charges in the Forsyth County Superior Court.
On Monday, Bradley Shane Watson and his wife, Pamela Jo Watson, owners of the Shane Watson Guide Service, chose to waive their formal arraignment, pleading not guilty to charges of theft by taking, theft by conversion and deposit account fraud.
Bradley and Pamela Watson were indicted by a Forsyth County grand jury in mid-August for allegedly unlawfully taking more than $235,000 from seven victims between February 2016 and December 2017.
Bradley Shane Watson, 51, was first arrested by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in July 2018 after investigators conducted a lengthy investigation into accusations over allegedly fraudulent boat sale and investment deals in counties across the state and beyond. In October 2018, Watson was later brought up on additional charges after more alleged victims came forward to authorities.
According to a Forsyth County News investigation, Watson has been implicated in theft by deception and fraud cases in Forsyth, Walton, Ware, Banks and Monroe counties; Aiken County, S.C.; and the cities of Gainesville, Milton, Roswell and Alpharetta.
Alleged victims told the FCN that Watson used Craigslist to advertise new Carolina Skiff boats for sale, taking deposits of about $9,000 from people in Georgia and South Carolina.
Each of Watson’s alleged victims say they never received their boats and that within months after securing deposits for their boats Watson took thousands of dollars from them under the guise of a legitimate investment deal.
Watson has now been indicted locally for 10 counts of theft by taking, seven counts of theft by deception and one count each of theft by conversion and deposit account fraud.
Pamela Jo Watson, 51, who was arrested by the law enforcement agencies in Forsyth and Walton counties on similar charges in July 2018, has been indicted alongside her husband for nine counts of theft by taking and one count of deposit account fraud.
The cases against the Watsons will be presided over by Forsyth County Superior Court Judge Philip C. Smith and will be prosecuted by Ramsey R. Magaro.The Watsons are scheduled to appear in court for a calendar call date in early October.