A Daytona Beach jury did not believe Susan Duncan when she stated over
and over again that she did not intend to defraud investors of $200,000
in cash and services. Duncan stated that her “woman friendly”
bar went belly up because of the recession.
The 54-year-old woman found investors for her bar, the YNOT? Bar and Grill,
in late 2009 and 2010 through a newspaper ad. Duncan claimed throughout
her trial that she was looking for employees who would invest in the business.
Several people testified at her trial that they gave Duncan thousands
of dollars or hundreds of hours of free work for what they thought were
stock certificates in the business. Duncan explained the company was a
limited liability corporation and could not issue stock, and the papers
she gave to those who invested money or labor were membership certificates
in the company.
Jurors found her guilty Monday of six counts of grand theft of $300 to
$5,000, third degree felonies, stated State Attorney’s Office spokeswoman
Klare Ly. Duncan was found not guilty of organized scheme to defraud $50,000
or more and grand theft of more than $20,000. The judge in the case ordered
Duncan to be locked up until sentencing. Prosecutors plan to seek restitution
Duncan is no stranger to law enforcement agencies in Florida. According
to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, she has been arrested 18
times since 1990 on charges ranging from worthless checks to battery on
a law enforcement officer. In 2001, she was convicted of forging a judge’s
signature so she would not appear as a convicted felon. Duncan said last
week that she had been convicted of five felonies in the past.
In 2007, Governor Charlie Crist restored Duncan’s civil rights that
had been taken from her as a felon, thus allowing her to apply for and
purchase the liquor license that permitted her to open and operate the
5,000 square foot bar and grill.