4 Men Charged for Selling $200,000 Worth Fake Coast Guard Certificates

According to an article published in 13 News Now, authorities charged four people with conspiracy, wire fraud and mail fraud for their alleged roles in a scheme to sell fake Coast Guard merchant mariner credentials.

Selling Fake Certificates

Authorities have charged four people with fraud for allegedly engaging in a scheme to sell fake Coast Guard merchant mariner credentials in Norfolk.

An unsealed indictment says Lamont Godfrey, Eugene Johnson, Shunmanique Willis and Alonzo Williams all worked together to create and sell counterfeit certificates from the Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy to merchant mariners for a profit.

The academy is a state-of-the-art training center that offers mariners more than 100 U.S. Coast Guard-approved deck and engineering courses that are necessary for merchant mariners to be posted on merchant vessels.

Godfrey worked for the school for a time as its Chief Administrator. He used his position to create the phony certificates for mariners who never took courses, then sold them for thousands of dollars.

The mariners would receive the fake certificates along with instructions on how to load them in the Coast Guard systems and be credited with a fraudulent Coast Guard qualification. 

Johnson, Willis and Williams worked as brokers to find additional mariners willing to buy fake certificates. They received a cut of the proceeds from the scheme.

Sold More than 150 Fake Certificates

The conspiracy ended up netting more than $200,000 in profits from the production of these certificates. All four who were charged also sold the certificates to more than 150 mariners.


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Source: 13 News Now


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