Mariner Credentialing

Virginia Beach man sentenced for fraud scheme undermining maritime safety

A Virginia Beach man was sentenced Monday to 45 months in prison for mail fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft for creating counterfeit certificates from the Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy (MAMA) and selling them to merchant mariners for a profit. The mariners would receive the fake certificates along with instructions on how to load them in the Coast Guard systems and be credited with a fraudulent Coast Guard qualification.

“Credentialed mariners are entrusted with the safety and security of commercial vessels, and the vast majority are dedicated, safety-conscious individuals who work hard to earn their professional credentials and endorsements. By enabling a group of mariners to circumvent the Coast Guard’s credentialing protocols through fraud, this individual and his accomplices undermined our credentialing system and threatened our waterways,” said Rear Admiral John Mauger, Coast Guard assistant commandant for prevention policy. “Today’s sentencing demonstrates the tireless efforts of the Coast Guard and Department of Justice, and ensures the United States’ Marine Transportation System remains one of the safest in the world. We are confident this ruling sends a strong message that the U.S. government will not tolerate these types of acts and will vigorously take action against such misconduct.”

A complete version of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:20-cr-95.

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