Eight More Merchant Mariners Charged in Test-score Fixing Scheme
Another eight current and former merchant mariners have been indicted in a a test score-fixing scheme at a U.S. Coast Guard exam center in Louisiana.
The defendants are charged with obtaining, and intending to use, officer-level licenses that were procured through falsified exam scores. The fraudulent scores were for examinations designed to test the mariners’ knowledge and training to safely operate under the authority of those licenses.
The allegations stem from an investigation that resulted in a previous indictment charging former Coast Guard credentialing specialist Dorothy Smith with accepting bribes in exchange for entering false passing examination scores. Twenty-eight current and former mariners were charged in that earlier indictment and have all pled guilty. Smith and two other former-Coast Guard employees are awaiting trial in that case.
The indictment of Ransford Ackah, Nathaniel Dominick, Odell Griggs, Devin Heber, Raynel Lewis, Adrian Mack, Maurice Palmer and Derrick War was announced by U.S Attorney Duane A. Evans on November 18. If convicted, each faces a sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment, up to a $250,000.00 fine, up to three years of supervised release, and a mandatory $100.00 special assessment fee.
This case is being investigated by the Coast Guard Investigative Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chandra Menon is in charge of the prosecution.