TIMOTHY W. HARPER
SHERYL E. HARPER
Submitted on Briefs: June 29, 2017
Schultz McEvoy, Esq., Portland, for appellant Timothy W.
Kristin A. Gustafson, Esq., Gustafson Family Law, Augusta,
for appellee Sheryl E. Harper
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and
Timothy W. Harper appeals from a judgment entered in the
Business and Consumer Docket [Horton, J.) partially
denying his motion to reconsider and amend a
previously-entered divorce judgment distributing his and
Sheryl E. Harper's assets. We affirm the judgment.
The following facts are derived from the court's final
amended divorce judgment and are supported by evidence in the
record. See Berntsen v. Berntsen, 2017 ME 111,
¶ 2, ___ A.3d ___. Timothy and Sheryl were married in
New York in 1978. During their approximately
thirty-seven-year marriage, the couple amassed considerable
assets and managed several businesses. The operation of two
of those businesses is of particular importance for the
purposes of this appeal.
Northeastern Seafood, Inc.
Northeastern Seafood, Inc. (NES) is a commercial lobster
business operating from a wharf in Southwest Harbor. NES
purchases lobsters from fishermen and resells the lobsters to
either commercial or individual buyers. Sheryl was NES's
original proprietor, starting the business in 1986 and
developing it into a successful enterprise over time.
Beginning sometime between 1997 and 2005, Timothy began
managing NES, while Sheryl assumed a less active role. After
taking over operation of NES, Timothy instituted a number of
changes, including implementing a separate and additional
bookkeeping system and removing the credit card processing
infrastructure. Timothy removed the credit card systems for
the purpose of retaining cash that NES received for retail
lobster sales without recording it as corporate income. He
also decided to sell lobsters to only two commercial buyers,
thereby significantly decreasing NES's profits. While in
control of NES, Timothy opened and drew down upon two lines
of credit that, at the time of the divorce proceeding,
carried a total balance of approximately $350, 000. This was
in stark contrast to Sheryl's management of the company;
when she gave up control of the business, NES operated with
limited debt and substantial cash reserves.
The Dictator, Inc. (Dictator) is a corporation of which
Timothy is the sole shareholder. It is a profitable business
that owns a scallop boat and associated fishing permits,
which have a collective value of approximately $4, 500, 000.
Between 2012 and 2015, Timothy engaged in a series of
transactions using Dictator operating accounts that were not
related to the business, including purchasing automobiles and