Office of Public Affairs | Oil Tanker Engineers Plead Guilty to Charges of Concealing Vessel Pollution; Chief Engineer Also Pleads Guilty to Discharging Oily Waste Off Coast of New Jersey

Office of Public Affairs | Oil Tanker Engineers Plead Guilty to Charges of Concealing Vessel Pollution; Chief Engineer Also Pleads Guilty to Discharging Oily Waste Off Coast of New Jersey

Two ship engineers on the oil tanker M/T Kriti Ruby pleaded guilty today to charges related to the concealment of pollution by falsifying records, with the chief engineer also pleading guilty to charges related to the discharge of oily waste into the sea from a commercial vessel near a petroleum terminal in Sewaren, New Jersey.

Chief Engineer Konstantinos Atsalis, 56, pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS). Atsalis admitted that the vessel’s crew had knowingly bypassed required pollution prevention equipment by discharging oily waste from the vessel’s engine room through its sewage system into the sea, including near a petroleum offloading facility in Sewaren. Atsalis also admitted that he falsified the vessel’s oil record book (ORB) – a required log regularly inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard – by failing to record this illegal activity. Atsalis further admitted that he directed crew members to hide equipment used to conduct transfers of oily waste from the engine room bilge wells to the sewage tank before the Coast Guard boarded the vessel.

Second Engineer Sonny Bosito, 54, also pleaded guilty to violating APPS, admitting to concealing the discharge of oily waste into the sea through the vessel’s sewage system by causing a false ORB to be presented to the U.S. Coast Guard during its inspection of the vessel. Bosito further admitted to directing crew members to hide equipment used to conduct transfers from the bilge wells to the sewage tank before the Coast Guard’s inspection.

The maximum penalty of each charge is six years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense.

The sentencing for both Atsalis and Bosito is scheduled for Oct. 22.

Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD), U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger for the District of New Jersey and Acting Special Agent in Charge Steven M. Frith of the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service made the announcement.

The U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service investigated the case. 

Senior Trial Attorney Kenneth E. Nelson and Trial Attorney Lauren D. Steele of the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Environmental Crimes Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen P. O’Leary for the District of New Jersey’s Office Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine E. Ward for the District of New Jersey are prosecuting the case.

Official news published at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/oil-tanker-engineers-plead-guilty-charges-concealing-vessel-pollution-chief-engineer-also

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