Bribing MARAD Employees Yields Plea; USCG Halts Ship Transfer
May 04, 2001
Steven Dessin, of Benecia, CA, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Sacramento to charges of bribing MARAD Employees by offering them free automobile repair services and parts in exchange for receiving generators, steam valves, pumps and other equipment. During the bribery investigation, OIG special agents learned Dessin established a ‘non–profit’ organization for the purpose of obtaining the decommissioned Coast Guard Cutter Fir through the U.S. Coast Guard’s Direct Donation Program. OIG determined the organization was fictitious and the Coast Guard subsequently halted the transfer of the vessel, valued at over $2 million. In an undercover sting operation at MARAD’s Suisan Bay Reserve Fleet, IG special agents posed as MARAD employees and were introduced to Dessin, who offered them bribes in exchange for items used on ships. The FBI assisted OIG in the investigation.