September 29, 2016
President of Oregon Corporation Ordered To Pay MARAD $225,770 for Submitting False Claims on Federal Contracts
On September 29, 2016, Paul Sogotis, president of Pacific Coast Maritime Agency (PCMA), was ordered to pay $225,770 to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) to resolve a civil suit alleging fraud and false claims in the U.S. District Court of Oregon, Portland.
DOT-OIG’s investigation revealed that MARAD had an agreement that designated Interocean American Shipping (IAS) as a general agent to manage two MARAD vessels, the Pacific Collector and Pacific Tracker. From 2009 through 2011, IAS contracted with PCMA to serve as a ship agent to obtain tug services for the vessels. PCMA retained Shaver Transportation Company (Shaver) to provide tug services for which Shaver submitted invoices. PCMA altered the Shaver invoices by increasing certain charges and by deleting discounts provided by Shaver. The altered invoices were submitted to IAS and MARAD for payment. MARAD paid the altered invoices, which resulted in an overpayment in excess of $56,000 to PCMA.