Ship owner, manager acquitted in Virginia 'magic pipe' case

The following is the text of a news release from the law firm Chalos & Co.:

(NORFOLK, Va.) — A federal jury in the Eastern District of Virginia has acquitted both Angelex Ltd. and Kassian Maritime Navigation Agency, Ltd., Owner and the ISM Manager of the ANTONIS G. PAPPADAKIS, of sixteen (16) felony charges alleging that they, through their agents and employees, engaged in illegal discharging of bilge water in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (“APPS”) and then attempted to hide the illegal discharges from the U.S. Coast Guard. United States v. Kassian Maritime Navigation Agency, Ltd., et al., Criminal No. 2:13-cr-70 (E.D. Va. 2013).  Both Angelex and Kassian were represented by magic pipe specialist, George M. Chalos and Briton Sparkman of Chalos & Co, P.C. – International Law Firm and Patrick Brogan of Davey & Brogan, P.C., of Norfolk Virginia.

The jury’s verdict came after two (2) days of deliberations following a nine (9) day trial before District Judge Mark Davis. In finding Angelex and Kassian not guilty, the jury rejected claims by the Department of Justice that the alleged illegal conduct was performed by the Vessel’s crewmembers in the course and scope of their employment, and with the intent to benefit Angelex and Kassian. Notably, all of the witnesses in the case confirmed that any illegal conduct occurring on board the Vessel was hidden from Angelex, Kassian, and even the Master of the Vessel, and was done without any intent to benefit either company. The defense further established that such conduct was in violation of the Vessel’s “zero tolerance” pollution prevention policies and procedures, which strictly prohibited crewmembers from taking any “shortcuts” to bypass the Vessel’s pollution prevention equipment.

By Professional Mariner Staff