Wednesday, September 28, 2005
According to a press release here of the U.S.Attorneys Office for the Northern District of California, a major international company, "A.P. Moller-Maersk, A/S of Denmark (“Maersk”) pleaded guilty today to providing false documents to the U.S. Coast Guard" resulting in a fine of $500,000 and an agreement to abide by an environmental compliance program. The fine is the maximum fine allowed by law for this offense, a violation of 18 U.S.C. s 1001.
The press release states that
"[t]he government’s investigation began on May 25, 2004, when members of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office discovered waste oil in the overboard piping of the M/V Jane Maersk during a routine inspection. Further investigation by the Coast Guard and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division also uncovered evidence of false entries made in the Oil Record Book (ORB), a document required by MARPOL, a treaty ratified and implemented by the United States and other countries."
One individual previously plead guilty and received a sentence of four months community confinement for "destroying records, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519."
Interestingly, the press release says at the bottom that "[t]he prosecution is the result of a 15 month investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Services and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division, with assistance from the Coast Guard Pacific JAG Office."