Us Justice Department News

25 Nov 2019

SHI to Pay $75 Mln to Resolve Bribery Case

© denissimonov / Adobe Stock

Samsung heavy industries Co Ltd has agreed to pay more than $75 million in criminal penalties to resolve a U.S. investigation of a scheme to pay millions of dollars in bribes to officials in Brazil, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday.Samsung Heavy has admitted to paying about $20 million to a Brazilian intermediary between 2007 and 2013 knowing that parts of it would be paid as bribes to officials in Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras SA for a contract which facilitated the sale of a drill ship by Samsung Heavy…

20 Sep 2019

US Fines HHI $47Mln Over Dirty Engines

Pic: Hyundai Heavy Industries

US authorities announced that South Korea's top shipbuilding conglomerate Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) will pay a US$47 million fine for illegally importing and selling dirty diesel engines in violation of American environmental rules.US Justice Department and and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that between 2012 and 2015, the company imported nearly 2,300 diesel-powered heavy construction vehicles with engines that did not meet US emissions standards.“Hyundai put profits above the public’s health and the requirements of the law…

14 May 2019

N.Korea Protests U.S. Ship Seizure

The bulk carrier WISE HONEST (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © Sergei Skriabin

North Korea said on Tuesday the seizure of one of its cargo ships by the United States was an illegal act that violated the spirit of a summit between the two countries' leaders, and demanded the return of the vessel without delay.The North's foreign ministry said in a statement that it rejected U.N. Security Council resolutions against it which the United States cited in impounding the vessel, as a violation of its sovereignty."The United States committed an unlawful and outrageous act of dispossessing our cargo ship…

09 May 2019

U.S. seizes 'sanction buster' North Korean Ship

The United States has for the first time seized a North Korean cargo ship it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.The ship, known as the "Wise Honest," was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018. Under an unusual U.S. civil forfeiture action, the vessel is now in the possession of the United States and is currently approaching U.S. territorial waters heading toward American Samoa, U.S. Justice Department officials said.The announcement comes after North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles on Thursday, its second such test in less than a week and an apparent protest by leader Kim Jong Un after U.S.

06 Jul 2018

Sinovel Fined for AMSC Trade Secret Theft

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © JJAVA)

A U.S. judge ordered Sinovel Wind Group Co Ltd, a Chinese wind turbine maker, to pay a $1.5 million fine after the company was convicted and charged for stealing trade secrets from Massachusetts-based AMSC. U.S. District Judge James Peterson in Madison, Wisconsin, also sentenced Sinovel to one year of probation, during which it must pay the unpaid balance of a $57.5 million settlement it reached with AMSC. The U.S. Justice Department said Sinovel has already paid AMSC, formerly known as American Superconductor Inc…

29 Nov 2017

SBM Offshore to Pay $238 Mln in US Bribery Case

SBM Offshore NV, a Netherlands-based maker of offshore oil drilling equipment, and its U.S. subsidiary, SBM Offshore USA Inc, agreed to settle criminal charges of bribing officials in five countries and pay a $238 million penalty, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday. The companies agreed to settle charges related to schemes lasting more than a decade involving bribery of foreign officials in Brazil, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Iraq, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Justice Department said in a statement. SBM Offshore USA pleaded guilty on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, the statement said.

25 Aug 2017

MST, Reederei Indicted for Falsifying Pollution Records

The U.S. Justice Department announced a federal grand jury in Portland, Maine, returned a nine-count indictment today charging MST Mineralien Schiffarht Spedition Und Transport GmbH (MST) and Reederei MS “Marguerita” GmbH & Co. Geschlossene Investment KG (Reederei) with failing to keep accurate pollution control records and falsifying records. The charges stem from the falsification of records in 2016 and 2017 designed to cover up overboard discharges of oily mixtures and machinery space bilge water from the Liberian-flagged cargo vessel, M/V Marguerita. On at least eight occasions between September 2016 and June 2016, the M/V Marguerita entered United States waters and ports with a false and misleading Oil Record Book available for inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard.

27 Jun 2017

Current and Former WWL Execs Accused of Price Fixing

Photo: WWL

Two former and one current executive of the shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS (WWL) have been indicted on charges of fixing the prices of some international ocean shipping, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday. Former executives Arild Iversen and Anders Boman were indicted in November 2016 along with current executive Kai Kraass, the department said. The indictment was unsealed on Tuesday. Iversen is a former WWL chief executive, Boman was head of the Asian business for WWL and Kraass was Head of Commercial, Region Europe, according to the complaint filed with the U.S.

26 Apr 2017

Life Sentence for USS Ashland Attacker

Suspected pirates skiff burns after being burnt near the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland in 2010. (U.S. Navy photo/ Harry J. Storms)

A 31-year-old Somali man was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for engaging in piracy and other offenses in connection with an attack on a U.S. Navy ship seven years ago, the U.S. Justice Department said. Mohamed Farah, 31, of Somalia was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison for his role in the attack, the Justice Department said in a statement. Another five Somalis have already been tried and convicted for their roles in the attack and are serving prison terms, the Justice Department said.

27 Mar 2017

Hapag-Lloyd Expects Rising Freight Rates in 2017

File Image: CREDIT - Port of Boston

Moderate increases in freights to be achieved in 2016; new Alliance membership starts on April 1. German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd expects freight rates to be several percentage points higher this year than in 2016, one of a number of factors that should help the company improve its profitability, it said on Monday. "Freight rates are still unstable in early 2017," Chief Executive Rolf Habben Jansen told a news conference. The company achieved an average freight rate of $1,036 per twenty foot equivalent unit (TEU) last year, down 15.4 percent from 2015.

24 Mar 2017

Hapag-Lloyd Says Prospects Buoyed by Rising Freight Rates

File photo: Hapag-Lloyd

German container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd expects increased operating earnings this year, it said on Friday, citing a rise in freight rates as market conditions improve. The shipping industry has been grappling with a prolonged downturn brought about by overcapacity in a faltering global economy, but Hapag Chief Executive Rolf Habben Jansen pointed to signs of upward momentum. "We expect some market improvement in 2017, but our success will largely depend on our ability to achieve more sustainable freight rates," he said.

22 Mar 2017

Container Shippers Ordered to Testify in US Investigation

File photo: Hapag-Lloyd

The U.S. Justice Department has ordered top executives from several container shipping lines to testify in an antitrust investigation into an industry that is the backbone of global trade, the companies said on Wednesday. The world's biggest container shipper, Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, Germany's Hapag Lloyd, Taiwan-based Evergreen, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) said their executives were among those who had been subpoenaed. The United States is concerned that the proposed alliances of several major companies…

01 Dec 2016

Carnival Princess to Pay Record $40 mln for Polluting the Seas

Carnival Corp's Princess Cruise Lines will plead guilty to seven felony charges for polluting the seas and deliberate acts to cover it up, and pay a record $40 million criminal penalty, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday. Shares of Carnival, the world's largest cruise operator, were down more than 2 percent at $50.29 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange after the announcement. The Caribbean Princess had been making illegal discharges since 2005 using bypass equipment - including a so-called "magic pipe" - to circumvent pollution-prevention equipment that separates oil and monitors oil levels in the ship's water, the department said.

27 Sep 2016

Kirby to Pay $4.9 Mln Penalty over Oil Spill

(USCG photo by Andrew Kendrick)

Kirby Inland Marine LP has agreed to pay $4.9 million in civil penalties to settle claims stemming from a 4,000-barrel oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel in March 2014, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.   The company, a subsidiary of Kirby Corp, also agreed to implement operating improvements across its hundreds of vessels operating in U.S. inland waters, the department said in a statement. (Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by Susan Heavey)

10 Jun 2016

U.S. Navy Admiral Pleads Guilty to Bribery

A U.S. Navy rear admiral pleaded guilty on Thursday to a charge of lying to federal investigators, making him the highest-ranking officer to be convicted in the expanding "Fat Leonard" bribery case. Robert Gilbeau, 55, a special assistant to the chief of the Navy Supply Corps, appeared in U.S. District Court in San Diego late Thursday afternoon, accompanied by his lawyer and a fluffy white dog he said helped him monitor his health. Prosecutors said Gilbeau lied when he told investigators that he had not accepted gifts from Leonard Glenn Francis, whose contracts to clean, stock and maintain U.S. Pacific Fleet ships are at the center of the $30 million bribery case. "He lied to federal investigators to conceal his illicit years-long relationship with Leonard Glenn Francis," Assistant U.S.

09 Jun 2016

US Navy Admiral to Plead Guilty in Bribery Case

Robert Gilbeau (Photo: U.S. Navy)

A U.S. Navy rear admiral will plead guilty on Thursday to lying to federal investigators, making him the highest-ranking officer to be convicted in the expanding "Fat Leonard" bribery case, the Washington Post reported, citing his attorney. Robert Gilbeau, a special assistant to the chief of the Navy Supply Corps, was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in San Diego late Thursday afternoon, the Post reported, citing court records. This would bring to 14 the number of people charged in the Singapore-based case…

26 Feb 2016

US Coast Guard Wraps up First Phase of El Faro Disaster Probe

El Faro (File photo: TOTE)

The U.S. investigation into the deadly sinking of the El Faro cargo ship during a hurricane last fall shifted direction on Friday, as the Coast Guard wrapped up its initial public hearings on the accident that killed all 33 people onboard. The agency will now wait to see if key evidence can be recovered from the shipwreck. In April, searchers will make a second attempt at finding a voyage data recorder that could provide detail on the ship's sinking off the Bahamas. The recorder…

19 Nov 2015

Manslaughter Charges Filed in 2012 Oil Platform Blast

Two companies involved in the deadly 2012 explosion of an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico have been indicted on federal charges of involuntary manslaughter, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement on Thursday. Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC and Grand Isle Shipyards Inc. were charged on Thursday with three counts of involuntary manslaughter, eight charges involving federal safety laws and one violation of the Clean Water Act. Three people and a third company, Wood Group PSN Inc., also face criminal charges related to the explosion, the department said. Those charges include felony violations of the Clean Water Act and other federal safety laws.

15 Oct 2015

U.S., Alaska End Exxon Valdez Legal Action

The Exxon Valdez remains in place in Prince Williams Sound, Alaska after running aground on Bligh Reef March 23, 1989, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil (USCG photo)

U.S. and Alaskan authorities have ended their efforts to seek additional damages from Exxon Mobil Corp over the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and the subsequent settlement, the Department of Justice said on Thursday. The department said in a statement that it is "bringing to a close the federal and state judicial actions" against the company and opting not to recover more damages under the reopener provision of the 1991 settlement following the spill. Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards said in the statement that although officials were not pursuing the additional damages…

08 Oct 2015

Former Shipping Execs Indicted on Price-fixing

Photo: NYK

Three former executives of ocean freight shipping firms have been indicted for participating in a long-running price-fixing conspiracy, the U.S. Justice Department announced. The executives – Yoshiyuki Aoki, Masahiro Kato and Shunichi Kusunose – have been brought up on felony charges for allegedly allocating customers and routes, rigging bids and fixing prices for the sale of international ocean shipments of roll-on, roll-off cargo to and from the U.S. and elsewhere, including the Port of Baltimore. The affected cargo included cars, trucks, construction equipment and agricultural equipment.

24 Jul 2015

Carnival Faces Penalties Over ADA Compliance

Carnival Breeze (Photo: Carnival Corp.)

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Carnival Corp. The U.S. Justice Department and Carnival Corp. have reached a comprehensive, landmark settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to advance equal access for individuals with disabilities who travel on cruise ships, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. The settlement agreement, which addresses accessibility on 62 ships among Carnival Corp. brands including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises…

26 Sep 2014

Kawasaki Kisen Pleads Guilty to Price Fixing

Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha will pay a $67.7 million fine and plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids to internationally ship cargo that included cars and trucks, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday. (Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha)

24 Apr 2014

Italian Pleads Guilty to Marine-hose Price-fixing in US

Photo courtesy Dunlop Marine and Oil

A former executive of Parker ITR Srl pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring to rig bids for marine hose and was sentenced to two years in prison, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday. Romano Pisciotti, who is Italian, had been flown into the United States from Germany in early April in the first extradition on charges of breaking antitrust law, the department said. Marine hose is used to move oil between storage facilities and tankers. Five companies - Parker ITR, Bridgestone Corp…

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