Insurance businessman Nicolas Estrella, of Miami, Florida, is being accused of filing a fraudulent insurance claim after his 85-foot, $2.7 million yacht went missing from a dock near his residence in May of this year. The yacht was later found sunk in the Bahamas (pictured), while Estrella was visiting his Texas cattle ranch.
According the ex-girlfriend of Robert Figueredo, the yacht’s former captain, Figueredo and accomplices were offered around $100,000 to make the yacht disappear. Estrella apparently was having problems selling the yacht, named Star One and wanted to collect insurance money for it instead. Insurer Federal Insurance Co, with whom Estrella had his policy, believes Estrella had more than enough incentive to destroy the vessel and claim for $3 million.
Eric Mackenzie, another alleged accomplice, has come forward to police and admitted his involvement in the scheme; according to him Estrella promised Figueredo $200,000 to destroy the boat.
Lawyers working for Estrella claim their client had nothing to do with the disappearance of the Star One and has been unfairly doubly victimized; first by the theft of his yacht, and second by the refusal of his insurers to compensate him for his loss.
Figueredo was arrested and charged with first-degree grand theft in May and could spend 30 years in prison if convicted.