Missing EHT boater had fraud investigation pending

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EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – The Egg Harbor Township Police Department issued the following statement regarding a news report Friday, Aug. 1 that an Egg Harbor Township resident Andrew Biddle, 44, allegedly staged a recent boating accident to avoid prosecution in a pending fraud investigation:

“The Egg Harbor Township Police Department is currently investigating Mr. Andrew C. Biddle of Professional Boat Sales, 125 Margate Boulevard, Egg Harbor Township for numerous criminal acts of theft and fraud.  Mr. Biddle was recently reported missing in connection with a boating accident,” the release stated.

“Earlier in the day, local Atlantic City media obtained correspondence that was intended for law enforcement purposes only. The correspondence suggested that Egg Harbor Township Police Detectives believe that Mr. Biddle ‘staged an incident,’ to avoid prosecution. This scenario must be considered, and the Egg Harbor Township Police Department’s Detective Bureau is obligated to investigate and prosecute Mr. Biddle for the aforementioned criminal acts until Mr. Biddle’s whereabouts are officially determined.”

New Jersey State Police were called into to search for a Biddle, who fell overboard after a boating accident near the jetty in Longport Sunday, July 20.  Officials said the State Police are still in charge of the accident investigation. The Egg Harbor Township Police Department is only investigating previous fraud allegations against him.

According to police, the accident occurred when a pontoon boat crashed into a channel marker; one person was ejected. The U.S. Coast Guard called off its search before the State Police were called in.

Sgt. Brian Polite of the New Jersey State Police said marine crews continued their search for Biddle, an experienced power boat racer.

 Police declined to identify the other person in the boat, who was able to swim to safety.

“We won’t release any information because the investigation is ongoing,” Polite said July 22.

Lt. K. Moore, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Station Atlantic City, said the accident was called in to the Longport Police Department at 11:30 p.m. Sunday, July 20. The Coast Guard’s search ended 6 p.m. on Monday, July 21.

“We conducted a nearly 20-hour search, but after exhausting all resources, the chances for survival based on water temperature and time in the water is slim,” Moore said.

According to Jay McKeen of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, the agency has no information on Biddle’s status as of Friday, Aug. 1

Egg Harbor Township Police Chief Michael Morris told The Current that police simply “are obligated to continue the investigation until there is a death declaration.”

According to the American Power Boat Association, Biddle is ranked first in the SuperStock Class P-1 offshore racing category, having won three competitions in Florida since November 2013. 

Read more:

Search for missing boater ongoing

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