Used fake mariner license, gets seven years prison

MAY 7, 2014 — A Coast Guard investigation has led to the sentencing of a man to seven years in prison for offenses that included piloting commercial ships on the Great Lakes with a fraudulent Coast Guard license.

Mark Anselm, 37, of Clayton, New York, was sentenced a U.S. District Judge on Monday after having pled guilty to six felony offenses.

His criminal conduct was discovered by the Coast Guard after he grounded a tug boat in Canadian waters on June 19, 2012. The ensuring investigation revealed numerous instances of Anselm holding himself out as a licensed commercial merchant marine captain based upon licenses that he had forged.

The case was referred to a criminal investigation resulting in Coast Guard Investigative Services conducting multiple interviews with industry members in upstate New York. These interviews, along with information released by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York, led CGIS to discover multiple victims of Anselm's scheme to defraud.

According to agents at CGIS Buffalo, Anselm used his fraudulent license to solicit maritime construction contracts, collecting nearly $300,000 in down payments, but never fulfilled contractual obligations to complete the work.