Illegal Charter Operator Pleads Guilty to Violating Coast Guard Order
Seth Alan Gissen pled guilty yesterday to knowingly and willfully violating a Captain of the Port Order, in violation of Title 33, United States Code, Section 1232(b)(1).
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Florida and Zinnia P. James, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS), Southeast Region made the announcement.
According to the court record, Gissen is the registered owner of the motor yacht NO RULES II. On October 26, 2017, during a routine law enforcement boarding, the Coast Guard discovered the yacht NO RULES II operating illegally as a charter vessel. Illegal charters can cause accidents resulting in property damage, injuries, and death.
On October 30, 2017, the Coast Guard issued a Captain of the Port Order to Gissen. This Order required Gissen to immediately cease operating NO RULES II as a passenger vessel until he was in compliance with federal laws and regulations.
On or about August 4, 2018, on Biscayne Bay, a Coast Guard team observed that the yacht NO RULES II appeared to be overloaded and so initiated a law enforcement boarding. An investigation revealed that Gissen was again illegally operating as a commercial charter, in violation of the Captain of the Port Order.
Gissen is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno on January 10, 2018, at 10 a.m.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of CGIS in this matter. This case is being prosecuted by Coast Guard Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip Jones.