Fines aren't just a societal measure put into place for the fun of it. Fines are meant to be a deterrent for doing something you shouldn't be doing, from littering to speeding and ignoring very clear, stringent environment laws.

It's those laws that brought light to a peculiar and very expensive situation unfolding in Camden, Maine, where a wealthy Missouri couple has already shelled out millions of dollars and could end up paying more over a property dispute and flagrant disdain for the law.

According to some detailed reporting by the Portland Press Herald, the dispute began in 2022. A property owner noticed that some of the vegetation on her property seemed to be dying. The homeowner had been at the residence for two decades without incident, but new neighbors seemed eager to improve their property and their view.

Boats moored in Camden, Maine harbor

Those neighbors happened to be the Bond family, a prominent Missouri couple whose net worth exceeded $500 million. The Bonds, like so many others, viewed Camden as a perfect Maine getaway with views they simply couldn't find in Missouri. It's those views that continue to cost them.

After an investigation was done by both local and state officials, it was deemed that the Bond family had been chasing a better view of Camden Harbor. They neglected laws about cutting trees down near the shoreline, and also used a pesticide to wipe out vegetation on their property. Traces of that pesticide were found in their neighbor's property, as well as a nearby park and public beach.

Patricia Elaine Thomas
Patricia Elaine Thomas

Those investigations have led to the Bond family paying out more than $1.7 million dollars in fines, as well as settlements. But their expensive issue may not be over yet. The Maine Attorney General's office has gathered all the information surrounding the flagrant ignoring of environmental regulations, and will decide whether to pursue a case against the Bonds.

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