FORMER FUEL PURCHASER SENTENCED TO 45 MONTHS FOR DEFRAUDING ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES, LTD.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced yesterday's sentencing of defendant Jamil Murni, 60, of Houston, Texas, for defrauding Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD (Royal Caribbean).
According to statements made in the filed plea agreement, defendant Murni was a fuel buyer for Royal Caribbean. In that position, defendant Murni was responsible for researching suppliers and negotiating price, availability, and delivery schedules of fuel for Royal Caribbean Cruises' fleet. From late 2003 through late 2006, however, defendant Murni devised a scheme to defraud Royal Caribbean of more than $600,000.
According to the plea agreement, in 2003, defendant Murni registered "Sea Fuels Trading" as a fictitious name with the Florida Department of State's Division of Corporations. He then opened and maintained a bank account in the name of Sea Fuels Trading. On December 19, 2003, defendant Murni applied to have Sea Fuels Trading become a fuel provider for Royal Caribbean. In that application, defendant Murni fraudulently concealed his ownership of the company. Royal Caribbean subsequently approved Sea Fuels Trading as a fuel vendor.
Murni used his position within Royal Caribbean to obligate the cruise company to more expensive contracts with Sea Fuels Trading. Defendant Murni then fulfilled Sea Fuels Trading's obligations by purchasing cheaper fuel from competitors. Royal Caribbean paid defendant Murni's company more than it would have paid to a legitimate fuel vendor.
At the sentencing on November 1, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Joan A. Lenard sentenced Murni to 45 months of imprisonment, to be followed by 2 years of supervised release. In addition, the judge ordered that the defendant pay $610,228 in restitution to Royal Caribbean.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The matter is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney H. Ron Davidson.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.