A York County judge has dissolved an order attaching bank accounts and other holdings belonging to one of two men accused by a Saco lobster wholesaler of embezzling more than $1.4 million.

The order by Superior Court Justice John O’Neil Jr. said that the lobster wholesaler, Sea Salt, had not proved that “it is more likely than not” that the company would recover a judgment against Vincent J. Mastropasqua of Portland.

The “more likely than not” language is the legal standard for an attachment order to stay in place. The ruling allows Mastropasqua to access funds in his bank account.

O’Neil had approved an order in early August attaching up to $1.5 million in Mastropasqua’s name, in effect freezing his holdings for possible collection if the Sea Salt lawsuit succeeded.

Mastropasqua is accused in the civillawsuit of working with Matthew R. Bellerose of Scarborough, a Sea Salt partner, to send lobsters from the wholesaler to a fake company. The fake company wasn’t billed for the lobsters, which were then sold, the suit alleges. The suit alleges that $1.5 million was embezzled, but said the total could be more than $2 million once accounting is complete.

Bellerose was an employee of Sea Salt and had a 20 percent stake in the company, which also operates a seafood restaurant on Route 1 in Saco.


Mastropasqua had formed a shipping company with Bellerose, but his lawyers told the court that he was unaware of any embezzlement.

Sea Salt and Mastropasqua “present equally plausible versions of events,” O’Neil said in his order, and affidavits filed by Mastropasqua’s lawyer, “if believed, could also result in a conclusion that he was unaware and was not a participant in any scheme to defraud” Sea Salt.

Bellerose’s wife, Amanda Bellerose, also has filed a motion seeking to dissolve part of an attachment order against the couple’s holdings, but O’Neil has not yet ruled on that motion.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:


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