Shipyard settles fraud case
Marisco Ltd. and its Alaska partner will pay $450,000 over use of a dry dock
Oahu-based shipyard company Marisco Ltd. and a native Alaskan village corporation are paying the federal government $450,000 to settle claims that they defrauded the U.S. General Services Administration.
At a Glance
Companies: Marisco Ltd., an Oahu shipyard company, and Tanadgusix Corp., a native Alaskan tribal business
Settlement: The companies will pay $450,000 to settle a fraud claim.
Marisco and Tanadgusix Corp., a native Alaskan tribal business, acquired and put into use a Navy surplus floating dry dock in Marisco's shipyard at Kalaeloa, formerly Barbers Point Harbor.
The dry dock was supposed to be used to economically benefit natives of St. Paul Island, Alaska, and was worth more than $5 million, according to federal documents.
The case stems from a 2002 lawsuit by a consortium of two Hawaii shipyard companies, Pacific Shipyards International LLC, in which federal racketeering and corrupt practices were alleged against the Alaska corporation and Marisco.
The lawsuit said the surplus dry dock, which the Navy donated to the Alaska corporation, was being used by Marisco for ship repair work at Kalaeloa, but the conditions of the transfer of the dry dock required it be used in Alaska. The Alaska corporation initially told the state of Alaska and the federal government that the dry dock would be repaired at Marisco and towed to St. Paul Island, according to the lawsuit.
Pacific Shipyards invested about $4.5 million to bring a new floating dry dock to Hawaii, and was getting unfair and illegal competition from Marisco's use of the donated equipment, the lawsuit said.
The court's approval of the settlement filed Thursday resolves allegations that Marisco and TDX violated the False Claims Act by using the surplus Navy floating dry dock, named the Ex-Competent, said U.S. Attorney Edward Kubo Jr. in a press release.
However, according to the settlement, the Alaska corporation and Marisco deny any allegations they violated the act and do not admit any liability or wrongdoing, the press release said.
The United States intervened in the lawsuit on Sept. 26, 2003.
Marisco's attorney, Mike Freed, refused to comment on the case. Company President Alfred "Fred" Anawati did not return calls from the Star-Bulletin.
Marisco has had other legal problems. Last year, it settled a case with the state Department of Health over water pollution violations at Kalaeloa, which could have led to fines of up to $10.8 million based on federal clean-water law.
But due to Marisco's financial difficulties, the parties agreed to a $300,000 settlement without Marisco admitting to allegations it polluted the harbor.
The Health Department alleged Marisco allowed sandblasting grit, cooling water, oil, hydraulic fluids and other pollutants to enter the harbor at least six times, in one instance for 33 days.