U.S. Department of Justice

09/18/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/18/2023 14:46

Chief Engineer Sentenced to More Than a Year in Prison for Obstruction of Justice and Oil Dumping Offenses

Chief engineer Denys Korotkiy of the vessel Donald was sentenced on Sept. 15 to serve twelve months and a day in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice and failure to maintain an accurate oil record book. U.S. District Court Judge Todd W. Robinson for the Southern District of California sentenced Korotkiy.

Trial evidence showed that oily bilge water - typically containing oil contamination from cleaning and operating a vessel's machinery - was illegally dumped from the Donald, without being legally recorded, directly into the ocean through the vessel's sewage tank and not properly processed through required pollution prevention equipment. Korotkiy made false and fictitious entries in the oil record book claiming oily bilge had been transferred from the engine room bilge wells to the bilge holding tank. He also conspired with others to obstruct the U.S. Coast Guard from inspecting and investigating the mishandling of oily bilge water on the Donald.

Vessel operating company Interunity Management (Deutschland) GMBH previously pleaded guilty for maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of oily bilge water and was ordered to pay a total of $1.25 million, including more than $312,000 to benefit marine and coastal natural resources in or near the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Haden for the Southern District of California made the announcement.

The U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service investigated the case.

Senior Trial Attorney Stephen Da Ponte of the Environment and Natural Resources Division's Environmental Crimes Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie K. Pierson for the Southern District of California are prosecuting the case.