Stab Magazine | Clay Marzo Is Robbed Of His Home And Life Savings

Watch 'Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story'

1320 Views

Clay Marzo Is Robbed Of His Home And Life Savings

The Marzo’s bookkeeper steals $400K over six years. 

news // Oct 21, 2016
Words by Jake Howard
Reading Time: 3 minutes

There’s some fucked up people in this world.  And, it would appear Felicidad Rivera fits that mould.

This week 51-year-old Rivera, from Makawao, Maui, was indicted on 13 counts of wire fraud for allegedly embezzling more than $400,000 over six and a half years. The victim: Clay Marzo and his mom. She pleaded not guilty during her arraignment Monday in the U.S. District Court in Honolulu. Her bail was set at $50,000.

Working as a bookkeeper for Marzo from 2008 to 2015, the federal indictment alleges Rivera wrote herself 193 cheques totalling more than $330,000 between 2010 and 2015. She also paid more than $75,000 of her credit card charges from Marzo’s account. She hid the transactions through fake ledger entries.

“I leaned heavily — apparently too heavily — on her and part of me feels pretty stupid because how could this go on for so long?” said Jill Marzo Clark, Clay’s mom, in an interview with the Maui News. “But when you don’t understand numbers and hire someone to do numbers, how do you know? It looked to me like it started off little and then she figured out she could do it and it became more and more until she got sloppy.”

https://player.vimeo.com/video/172200292

As a result of Rivera’s illegal spending habits, Marzo was left $30,000 in debt with no money left in his lifesaving. Rivera wiped him out. His mother also apparently lost a sizable amount of money.

In 2015, Clark found charges on her Macy’s card for fancy purses and other stuff she hadn’t purchased. With a little research she learned the purchases were sent to Rivera’s address. That’s when she contacted the authorities.

“It’s been a year of trying to get to this point,” said Clark. “It’s bittersweet; it’s awful that she did what she did because she was like a family member. She was close with us and worked with me for a long time.

“I hope that it all goes the right way, but it still doesn’t feel good. I’ve been sick to my stomach since Friday when she was arrested.”

The family first hired Rivera as a bookkeeper to handle Marzo’s affairs back in 2008 when he was still on Quiksilver and making a considerable amount of sponsorship money. His mom then also hired her to handle the financial affairs of her property management business.

http://vimeo.com/153856202

Alongside Dane Reynolds, Julian Wilson and Jeremy Flores, Marzo was famously one of Quik’s Young Guns when the surf industry was booming in the early 2000s. He was then diagnosed with Asperger’s, a form of autism that affects a person’s ability to effectively communicate with others, according to the Mayo Clinic. People with Asperger’s exhibit social awkwardness and an all-absorbing interest in specific topics. In Marzo’s case, surfing was his outlet. A book and film were made about his unique relationship with wave riding.

“I told him . . . she took pretty much all of your money and put you in debt and took a lot of my money,” said Clark. “Most people would’ve been outraged and yelling, but he looked at me and he said, ‘Well, she must have needed it.’”

A response like that speaks volumes about the man that Marzo is.

Rivera’s day in court is set for Dec. 28. Marzo also has a civil suit pending against her that gets underway in June.

Clay 01

Photography

Mike Riley

“It was a pretty weird day at the local in Kalbarri,” says West Australian-based photographer Mike Riley, who captured this gripping frame of Clay Marzo via the highly challenging art of shooting water angle. “The wind had a lot of north in it and the waves were far from perfect. This one of Clay was a stand-out wave from the day. The thing drained itself clean! The swell was solid and the peak was a little more shifty than normal. I kept finding myself out of position, either too far in or too far out, every time a wave came. Sometimes being in the wrong spot can work out better for the shot. I wore this one square on the head as Clay flew out over the foamball. I was lucky to avoid hitting the reef, as I got obliterated on the suck rock – not a place you want to be. It ended up working out pretty cool though… Worth it every time.”

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Billy Kemper, Mikey Wright, and Eli Olson Walk Into A Bar…

The Vans Pipe Masters heat draw is here. Let's break down the must-watch matchups

Dec 8, 2022

Watch: Kai Paula Has Arrived

Meet the 7th surfer to land a double spin in our final 2022 SEOTY entry.

Dec 8, 2022

30:27

Unlocked: ‘Nozvid’ In All Its Glory

Two years and $100K later.

Dec 8, 2022

How To Watch The Vans Pipe Masters

With less than 24 hours to go, we've put together a complete list of rules…

Dec 7, 2022

Watch: Stab’s Best Wetsuits of 2023

Our quest to objectively establish the best men's suit, women's suit, and booties out of…

Dec 7, 2022

Eithan Osborne Belongs On The 2003 World Tour

But he's gotten an invite to the 2022 Vans Pipe Masters, so we caught up…

Dec 7, 2022

30:37

“I Could Do Reels And Surf Two Foot Beachies And Hoard Cash But That’s Moral Suicide”

Noa Deane’s thoughts on money, media, airs in glassy waves and more.

Dec 7, 2022

Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story

The rise and rise of Mrs. Pipeline.

Dec 6, 2022

Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry

"Bull-riding is such a great warmup for surfing big waves."

Dec 6, 2022

Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters

3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.

Dec 6, 2022

21:04

‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’

RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!

Dec 5, 2022

What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?

Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.

Dec 5, 2022

Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT

After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…

Dec 3, 2022

An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties 

A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.

Dec 3, 2022

Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl

And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.

Dec 3, 2022

3:53

Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden

Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.

Dec 2, 2022

5 New Surfers Confirmed For The Vans Pipe Masters

Who's out, who's in?

Dec 2, 2022

Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Dec 2, 2022
Advertisement