Four More Sentenced In Coast Guard Test-Fixing Scheme

Four More Defendants Sentenced In Coast Guard Test-Fixing Scheme

NEW ORLEANS  (STL.News) U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced the sentencings of four defendants for their roles in a test score-fixing scheme at a Coast Guard exam center.

On December 8, 2021, ALONZO WILLIAMS, who plead guilty to being an intermediary in the scheme, was sentenced by the Honorable Barry W. Ashe to 40 months incarceration to be followed by three years of supervised release.

QUANG TRAN, HARRY JOHNSON, and JAMES CARR, who each pleaded guilty to unlawfully receiving an officer-level mariner license, were sentenced by Judge Ashe to a year of probation and 100 hours of community service on October 28, December 8, and December 9, 2021, respectively

All 28 maritime industry workers charged in the November 2020 indictment have been convicted—24 plead guilty to unlawfully receiving licenses and 4 plead guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States by acting as intermediaries in the scheme.  The other three defendants in this indictment—DOROTHY SMITH, ELDRIDGE JOHNSON, and BEVERLY MCCRARY—are former Coast Guard employees charged with conspiring to defraud the United States and are awaiting trial.  Also awaiting trial are eight mariners charged with unlawfully receiving licenses in a separate, recently filed, indictment.

The indictments allege that the licenses at issue were unlawfully obtained through false exam scores entered by SMITH.  The exams tested mariners’ knowledge and training to safely operate under the authority of the licenses, which were legally required to work various positions on vessels.  SMITH is accused of using a network of intermediaries to obtain payments from the mariners.

U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the indictments’ allegations against SMITH and any other defendants who are awaiting trial are merely charges and their guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is being investigated by the Coast Guard Investigative Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Chandra Menon is in charge of the prosecution.