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FISCAL YEAR: 2010
1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Transmar Shipping Company S.A.
N.D.  California  CR10-00552 DLJ
2. DEFENDANT: Dimitrios Dimitrakis
N.D.  California  CR10-00552 DLJ
3. DEFENDANT: Volodomyr Dombrovskyy
N.D.  California  CR10-00552 DLJ
On February 6, 2010, during a U.S. Coast Guard {USGC} Marine Safety Office inspection of the Motor Vessel New Fortune while docked in the Port of Oakland, the Chief Mate aboard the M/V New Fortune provided information to inspectors that there was a "magic pipe" connected to the vessel's boiler blow down overboard discharge valve. Allegedly, themagic pipe was used to discharge oily-contaminated wasterwater overboard, thus bypassing he system's oily water separator{OWS}. It was also alleged that the magic pipe was thrown overboard before entering the Port of Oakland. Further investigation revealed that the OWS and incinerator appeared to be non-functional, contrary to some of the entries that were made in the Oil Record Book regarding the operation of the OWS and incinerator. USCG inspectors observed rust in parts of the OWS further indicating a lack of use of the equipment. Samples were collected from the boiler blow down valve. Subsequent laboratory analyses confirmed the presence of oil, further corroborating allegations that oily water bypassed the OWS and was discharged directly into the ocean during the vessel's voyages. The M/V New Fortune, built in 1994, is a 612.9 foot-long bulk cargo ship. The vessel's Port of Registry is in the Marshall Islands. The M/V New Fortune was subsequently detained in the Port of San Francisco. A surety agreement was authorized by the USCG thereby detaining 11 of the M/V New Fortune's crewmembers in teh Northern District of California fo a period of 150 days.



July 16, 2010
The operator of the M/V New Fortune, Transmar Shipping Company, Chief Engineer Dimitrios Dimitrakis and Second Engineer Volodymyr Dombrovskyy were indicted and charged with eight total counts - one count of conpsiracy {18 U.S.C. 371}; three conts of making false statements {18 U.S.C. 1001}; two counts of obstruction of justice {18 U.S.C. 1505}; one count of falsification of records {18 U.S.C. 1519} and one count of Act to Prevent the Pollution form Ships {33 U.S.C. 1908}.

CITATION: 18 U.S.C. 1001, 18 U.S.C. 1519, 18 U.S.C. 371, 33 U.S.C. 1221, 33 U.S.C. 1908(a)
July 30, 2010
Transmar pled guilty to an information charging one count of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and one count of making false statements. Transmar was sentenced to 36 months probation during which time the company will implement an environmental compliance plan and was ordered to pay a $850,000 fine. Dombrovskyy pled guilty to one count of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and was sentenced to 24 months probation and ordered to pay a $500 federal fine. Dimitrakis pled guilty to one count of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.


Northern District of California
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 30, 2010

VESSEL’S OWNER, CHIEF ENGINEER AND SECOND ENGINEER ADMIT TO FALSIFYING RECORDS

OAKLAND, Calif.– Transmar Shipping Co, S.A., the operator of the cargo ship M/V New Fortune, pleaded guilty in federal court in Oakland today to failing to maintain an Oil Record Book and making a false statement to the U.S. Coast Guard, United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced. The vessel’s Chief Engineer Dimitrios Dimitrakis pleaded guilty to failing to maintain an Oil Record Book, and the Second Engineer Volodymyr Dombrovskyy pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the failure to maintain an accurate Oil Record Book. These guilty pleas stem from the defendants’ overboard disposal of oil residue, sludge, oil and oily mixtures into the ocean and their subsequent efforts to conceal these discharges by falsifying their onboard records.

“This prosecution evidences our determination to protect the environment from the unlawful discharge of waste oil from ships, a major source of pollution to ocean and inland waters,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello. “Companies need to understand that there are criminal consequences for attempting to deceive government regulators by providing false documents to authorities to avoid compliance with environmental laws.”

According to Court documents, the M/V New Fortune is a 26,136 gross ton ocean-going bulk cargo ship that is registered in the Marshall Islands. It was engaged in the carriage of bulk products in world-wide commerce. Following the ship’s trans-Pacific journey from South Korea to the Port of Oakland, U.S. Coast Guard inspectors boarded the vessel for a routine inspection. At that time, crew members advised the inspectors that illegal activities were taking place onboard, and came forward to reveal that the crew was using a “magic hose” to dispose of the vessels’ oil-containing waste overboard, bypassing the vessel’s pollution prevention equipment. Further investigation by the Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division revealed waste oil in the overboard piping of the M/V New Fortune and also uncovered evidence of false entries made in the vessel’s Oil Record Book, a documen required by MARPOL, a treaty ratified and implemented by the United States and other countries. MARPOL, which stands for marine pollution, and U.S. law limit the oil content of overboard discharges from ships to not more than 15 parts per million. To ensure compliance, MARPOL requires that all transfers of sludge, oil contaminated bilge water, and overboard discharges of bilge water, be fully and accurately recorded in the Oil Record Book.

“We consider failure to comply with MARPOL to be an insult to the seas and the citizens of the world. We work hard to make clear we have no tolerance for such behavior and we will hold accountable those that violate MARPOL,” said Capt. Paul Gugg, commander of the Coast Guard's San Francisco Sector.

Court documents further state that Chief Engineer Dimitrakis and Second Engineer Dombrovskyy were onboard the M/V New Fortune from March 1, 2009 through Feb. 16, 2010, when the ship came into port in Oakland. Dimitrakis held overall responsibility for the engine room where the bypass hose was used and the pollution prevention equipment was located and Dombrovskyy worked in the engine room under Dimitrakis. Dimitrakis and Dombrovskyy admitted that they regularly ordered M/V New Fortune crew members to bypass the vessel’s oil pollution prevention equipment through the illegal use of a bypass hose and discharged oil-contaminated bilge water and sludge directly into the ocean. Dimitrakis also admitted that he concealed this disposal by regularly making false entries and omissions in the vessel’s Oil Record Book. Dombrovskyy admitted that he disposed of the “magic hose” before entering the waters of the United States in order to conceal that they had used it to discharge of sludge and bilge water directly overboard.

According to court documents, on a number of occasions, Dimitrakis and Dombrovskyy ordered crew members to operate the bypass hose and pumps at night while on the high seas. Dimitrakis and Dombrovskyy ordered crew members to disconnect and hide the bypass hose prior to entering United States waters and ports, as well as ports in other locations.

According to court documents, Dimitrakis made false entries into the Oil Record Book indicating that the ship’s Oil Water Separator was being used, creating the overall false impression that the vessel was being properly operated and that they were properly maintaining the vessel’s Oil Record Book. No entries were made in the ship’s Oil Record Book indicating the direct discharge of bilge water and sludge from the ship into the ocean.

Court documents further state that on Feb. 16, 2010, during the Coast Guard’s inspection, the M/V New Fortune crew presented the false Oil Record Book to the U.S. Coast Guard during the vessels’ United States port call in Oakland.

After accepting the guilty plea, U.S. District Judge D. Lowell Jensen sentenced Transmar to pay a fine of $750,000, an additional community service payment of $100,000, and ordered it to follow an environmental compliance plan agreed to by the parties. TRANSMAR is required to develop, fund, and implement a comprehensive, fleet-wide environmental compliance plan to ensure future compliance aboard all of its vessels. As part of the plan, Transmar will, among other things, designate a corporate compliance manager to oversee implementation of the plan, develop an environmental manual for all ships, fully train employees, and hire an outside environmental consultant who will conduct compliance audits of Transmar ships.

Dombrovskyy was sentenced to two years probation, a $500 fine, and a $100 special assessment. Dimitrakis is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 3, 2010, before the Honorable D. Lowell Jensen in Oakland. The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of 33 U.S.C. § 1908(a) is six years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. 3553.

This case is being prosecuted by Chinhayi Cadet, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, and Trial Attorney Lana Pettus for the Environmental Crimes Section in the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division with the assistance of Jeanne Carstensen. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, the U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Port State Control Inspections Office, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division, with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard District Eleven Legal Office.

September 3, 2010
Dimitrakis was sentenced to 36 months probation, ordered pay a $100 special assessment and pay a $5,000 federal fine.


United States Department of Justice
Northern District of California
FOR IMMEDIATE
SEPTEMBER 3, 2010

CHIEF ENGINEER SENTENCED FOR FALSIFYING RECORDS

OAKLAND, Calif.– Dimitrios Dimitrakis, Chief Engineer of the cargo ship M/V New Fortune, was sentenced in federal court in Oakland today to 3 years probation, a $5,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment for failing to maintain an Oil Record Book, a document required by MARPOL, a treaty ratified and implemented by the United States, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

This sentence stems from the overboard disposal of oil residue, sludge, oil, and oily mixtures into the ocean and Dimitrakis’s subsequent efforts to conceal these discharges by falsifying onboard records. According to Court documents, the M/V New Fortune is a ocean-going bulk cargo ship registered in the Marshall Islands that carried bulk products in world-wide commerce. During a routine inspection at the Port of Oakland, crew members informed U.S. Coast Guard inspectors that the crew was using a “magic hose” to dispose of the vessel’s oil-containing waste overboard, bypassing the vessel’s pollution prevention equipment. Further investigation by the Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division revealed waste oil in the overboard piping of the M/V New Fortune and also uncovered evidence of false entries made in the vessel’s Oil Record Book.

Court documents further state that Chief Engineer Dimitrakis admitted that he regularly ordered M/V New Fortune crew members to bypass the vessel’s oil pollution prevention equipment through the illegal use of a bypass hose, thereby causing the discharge of oil-contaminated bilge water and sludge directly into the ocean. Dimitrakis ordered crew members to disconnect and hide the bypass hose prior to entering United States waters and ports, as well as ports in other locations.

According to court documents, Dimitrakis made false entries into the Oil Record Book indicating that the ship’s Oil Water Separator was being used, creating the false impression that the vessel was being properly operated and that they were properly maintaining the vessel’s Oil Record Book. No entries were made in the ship’s Oil Record Book indicating the direct discharge of bilge water and sludge from the ship into the ocean.

On July 30, 2010, U.S. District Judge D. Lowell Jensen sentenced Transmar, the owner of the M/V New Fortune, to pay a fine of $750,000 and an additional community service payment of $100,000; the court also ordered it to follow an environmental compliance plan agreed to by the parties. On July 30, 2010, another defendant, Volodymyr Dombrovskyy was sentenced to two years probation, a $500 fine, and a $100 special assessment. Dimitrakis was the final defendant to be sentenced in this matter.

This case is being prosecuted by Chinhayi Cadet, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, and Trial Attorney Lana Pettus for the Environmental Crimes Section in the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division with the assistance of Jeanne Carstensen.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, the U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Port State Control Inspections Office, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division, with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard District Eleven Legal Office.

STATUTE:
  • Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • Title 18 U.S. Criminal Code (TITLE 18)

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