Maritime instructor accused of selling fraudulent training certificates
NAPOLEONVILLE – A former Louisiana maritime instructor was charged for allegedly accepting payments to fraudulently certify students.
Maurice George, 45, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and eight counts of wire fraud.
George allegedly planned a scheme to embezzle $334,892 from his employer, Beier Radio, between 2007 and 2013. He took more than 200 payments between $1,200 and $2,000 from students in exchange for fraudulently certifying their log books and issuing training certificates for training that was never performed.
Beier Radio manufactures maritime electronics products such as Dynamic Positioning Systems, which is a computer system that automatically maintains a vessel's position. The company operated a training facility in Gray, LA to provide training courses for customers.
The indictment alleges that George instructed students to pay him by check and deposited them into his personal checking account. He also forged signatures of employees of the company on training certificates.
If convicted, George faces a penalty of 20 years in prison followed by up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The charges in the Eastern District of Louisiana follow an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service.