Harley Marine CEO being sued by investor

I’m guessing you work(ed) for Harley?

I used to, and I don’t see Harley much outlasting him. I can’t speak of his health but I know he is older than 65 and how I remember it none of his kids seemed too interested in his company.

That and the company morgatges most of its equipment and should I recall correctly the Trump tax bill heavily reduced the amount of debt one can write off.

Your questions are the real ones, who knows? How do we find out. If any of these accusations in the suit are true or nearly true, expect a follow up with criminal enforcement, especially the IRS. Not only is embezzlement theft, it is also tax evasion.

No, never. Just read the whole thing and found it interesting and was looking forward to it playing out. Not a lawyer but find Maritime law interesting as well.

According to the suit there was an independent forensic accounting firm that uncovered the financial discrepancies. Probably a lot more coming out over time.
They seem to be always looking for people on the East Coast and Gulf as well. Wonder why?

Having retired from the Tugs after 48 years it’s sad to see reply’s saying I heard I heard. I spent the last 14 years at Harley marine, 10 years as a Captain and the last 4 as a Port Captain. I spent 17 years a Campbell towing and when they went out of business Harley bought 2 of there tug, one is now working in NY and the other in Houston. The one in Houston just finished a tow last year to the Philippines, both tugs are well kept, the crews at Harley take pride in there tugs. Many crews have been with Harley for 15 plus years. Many of the people who have quite are from other company’s thinking the grass is always greener or don’t like all the paper work that goes with moving oil. I am not defending the accusations against Harley we will let the courts decide, I am saying it was a good place to work and people should not be commenting saying I heard I heard, get the facts.


@macattack2 There is only one post here that has the words “I hear” and that is from a very well-informed and knowledgeable Mariner @tugsailor . The rest of the comments pertain to the published lawsuit and have no speculation. No one said the employeees are treated poorly or don’t like working there or don’t have nice boats. That’s completely contrary to what is written. And for myself, I’m just wondering why they always seem to be looking for people? Or do they just continually run help wanted ads without having any jobs available? I’ve never applied to them and don’t know anyone that works for them, if just seems they always have ads up for something and I don’t see that with many companies. What’s the pay like there?

No one here attacked Harley.

Companies get sued all the time, including Harley Marine, but this lawsuit looked to be an existential threat to that company with the potential to shake up the industry, especially moving oil in Puget Sound and his very rapid expansion in the Gulf.

We as mariners have an interest in what is looming on the horizon as it can affect our job prospects and beyond. Maybe current employees at Harley would like to know what’s going on at their company that Harley himself wouldn’t disclose and others can start to gather info and potentially look elsewhere.

What was listed in this thread was an article giving a quick rundown of the potential lawsuit and the actual complaint filed in Delaware.

Hell, I’m a former employee of Harley and have much bad to say about the company (I was treated well except once).

Though I am Larry about your account, which looks like it was established an hour ago.

I don’t agree, rather then restrict what’s posted here better to let the reader judge. Most of the long-time forum members here know who has good info.

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What’s your source for this press release? Delaware court website shows the case is still active


HMS HOLDINGS 1 LLC US, a Delaware limited liability company,
Nominal Defendant.
C.A. No. 2018-0481-JTL
Plaintiff, through the undersigned counsel, hereby gives notice pursuant to Ch. Ct. R. 41(a)(1)(i) that this action is voluntarily dismissed without prejudice, as no answer or motion for summary judgment has been filed.
To the extent that Plaintiff’s claims are derivative in nature, Plaintiff further voluntarily dismisses this action pursuant to Ch. Ct. R. 23.1©, subject to Court approval. Plaintiff states that no compensation, in any form, has passed directly or indirectly from Defendants to Plaintiff, or Plaintiff’s attorney, and that no promise to give any such compensation has been made. GRANTED
Kevin H. Marino, Esq.
John D. Tortorella, Esq.
John A. Boyle, Esq.
437 Southern Boulevard
Chatham, New Jersey 07928
(973) 824-9300
Dated: July 5, 2018

That link goes nowhere but it looks like the Delaware Court case no. is “2018-0481” and after some digging the case filed in King County, Washington is “18-2-16360-9”

Delaware Court case search system and the Washington Court case search system.

I wasn’t attacking Harley in anyway shape or form. I’ve actually only heard good things about the company. Also, many of the points of the lawsuit I think could have been for any of the companies I’ve worked for, especially family members on payroll and not showing up to work. Really the only difference is, the companies that I worked for were 100% family owned so they didn’t have “investors” to answer to. I think most people on this forum know the difference between a good company and a bad one and that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Looks like Harley’s trouble hasn’t ended.

The Seattle Times put out an article detailing Harley’s trouble, stating that

-The suit in Delaware was indeed dropped
-The suit in Washington is still active
-Harley Franco himself was actually voted to be fired but an appeal kept him his job pending litigation
-Matt Godden, a Harley Franco appointee, voted to out Harley

All in all, still pretty damning and the results of which could shake up the industry.

We should all know better than to believe everything printed by a newspaper, but . . .

Now that we know that this is that Macquarie, Macquarie from Australia, and that it owns 47 percent of Harley, it’s obvious that regardless of the merits of their claims, Macquarie is a giant that one way or another is going to squash little Harley Franco like a bug.

Now we know where Harley was getting all his money from, from Macquarie.

Maybe Harley’s rapid growth and customers came from Macquaries business relationships, not Harley’s business savvy and charm. That would explain a lot.

Harley NY and Harley Gulf may have grown fast, but according to Seattle Times they are losing money. Has anyone here ever heard anything good about Harley Gulf? Or Harley NY? I’ve heard mostly good things about Harley California, and mixed reports about Seattle.

My guess: Harley is about to be sold to someone else. The question is who: Saltchuk, Kirby, Crowley, etc?


Wow I thought it was a smaller share, 10-25% or so.

This one is getting ugly. Harley Franco got real sloppy if he sold two company winches for $1.2 million and used it for personal use or accounts. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to lost contracts and mariners getting laid off. Interesting as well that Maquarie says the East Coast and Gulf Coast operations are losing money.

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Hopefully someone buys that east coast junk and makes a reef out of it

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47% Australian-owned, OK. But how does this pass the Jones Act test?

Me thinks this should be Harley’s biggest concern, not embezzlement or tax fraud…

It’s Macquarie Marine Services, a subsidiary. Something tells me they have competent enough attorneys to set up the company in the US, thus not an issue.

Its far too easy for foreigners with foreign financing to come to the US and wrap themselves in the American flag and pretend to be instant “American” companies. Just look at American Seafoods and Maersk.

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American companies are investing in all types of business in countries all over the world, incl. in shipping.