16 Plead Guilty In Coast Guard Test Score-Fixing Scheme
NEW ORLEANS (STL.News) The United States Attorney’s Office announced the guilty pleas of 16 defendants related to a test score-fixing scheme at a United States Coast Guard exam center.
The Honorable Barry W. Ashe accepted the pleas on January 20, 27, and 28, 2021, with each of the following defendants pleading guilty to unlawfully receiving an officer-level mariner license: JONATHAN ABBEY, RAFAEL ATKINS, ANTHONY BROWN, CHARLES FRANKS, JERRY FUDGE, DAVID GALVAN, JUSTIN GANDY, CARDELL HUGHES, EDWARD JONES, BRANDON MACK, HUGO MARQUEZ, MILES MARTS, DEVERICK MORROW, OCTAVIAN RICHARDS, ANTWAINE TRAVIS, and ROBERT WINTERS.
As admitted during their guilty pleas, these defendants obtained licenses by paying for false Coast Guard exam scores. The exams were designed to test their knowledge and training to safely operate under the authority of the licenses.
According to court filings, the fraudulently obtained licenses included, among others, those authorizing mariners to serve as the master of vessels of any tonnage in any waters, to serve as the chief mate of vessels of any tonnage in any waters, and to serve as the first assistant engineer of vessels of any horsepower in any waters.