Yavuz Mogultay, 31, Turkish has pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Mark A Pizzo to a one-count Information charging him with knowingly failing to fully and accurately to maintain an Oil Record Book as required by international treaty and United States law. Mogultay faces a maximum sentence of six years in federal prison.
A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Mogultay served as the Second Assistant Engineer onboard the cargo ship M/V Avenue Star. According to the Information, Mogultay used bypass hoses to sort-cut the vessel’s pollution prevention equipment and discharge oily waste from the engine room.
He then failed to record the discharges in the vessel’s Oil Record Book. Mogultay also failed to record the transfer of oily wastes into a ballast tank used to store various amounts of seawater to maintain the stability of the vessel.
Based on a complaint lodged by several crew members, the U.S. Coast Guard inspected the M/V Avenue Star on October 21, 2009 at the Port of Tampa and discovered oil in the ballast water tank, as well as the hoses that Mogultay had used to by pass the ship’s pollution prevention equipment.
This case was investigated by the United States Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Kenneth E. Nelson of the Environmental and National Resources Division of the Department of Justice and Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer.