More than 30 people charged in alleged Coast Guard test score fixing scheme

More than 30 people charged in alleged Coast Guard test score fixing scheme
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More than 30 people are accused of participating in a test score-fixing scheme at a United States Coast Guard exam center in Louisiana.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that 31 individuals were indicted for their involvement in the plot, in the middle of which, according to prosecutors, was Dorothy Smith, a former credentialing specialist at an exam center in Mandeville. 

Smith’s position authorized her to enter scores for examinations that merchant mariners are legally required to pass to obtain licenses to serve in various positions on ships, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana said in a statement released on Monday.


The U.S. Attorney's Office alleges Smith used “a network of intermediaries to connect her to maritime workers who were willing to pay for false exam scores.” The intermediaries would then funnel the bribe money and the mariners’ requests to her and she would falsely report in a Coast Guard computer system that the mariners had passed the exams, according to the statement. 

“This resulted in the applicants illegally obtaining a range of licenses for officer-level positions, including the most important positions on vessels, such as master, chief mate, and chief engineer,” the release says.

The Associated Press was the first to report on the charges.

Two former Coast Guard employees and four maritime industry workers are accused of acting as intermediaries for Smith, with the industry workers also having their own scores fixed by Smith. She and the six accused intermediaries were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States.

In addition, 24 current and former merchant mariners were charged with unlawfully receiving officer-level licenses.