In 2019, Chartworld Shipping Corporation, Nederland Shipping Corporation, and Chief Engineer Vasileios Mazarakis were found guilty under six separate charges. This included failure to keep accurate pollution control records, falsifying records, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering. A U.S. Coast Guard inspection revealed inaccurate logs in the Oil Record Book, which is a violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. Lower-level crew members of the M/V Nederland Reefer were instructed to withhold evidence from the Coast Guard, as well as destroy evidence of the illegal discharges, leading to the various other charges. The hull of the ship was also damaged, allowing for seawater to enter tanks aboard the ship, leading to a charge of failure to report hazardous conditions.
Water samples running through the Oil Content Monitor were diluted so that no oil was detected, though that oil was present in what was discharged overboard. The ship’s Chief Engineer ordered crew members to reroute houses, subsequently mixing oil sludge and bilge systems, a MARPOL violation in itself. Crew members were ordered to cut up and paint pipes ahead of a Coast Guard inspection so that no wrongdoing could be detected.
Chartworld was placed on a four-year probation and ordered to pay a criminal fine of $900,000. The other defendant was ordered to pay $900,000, leaving the total fine at $1.8 million. An Environmental Compliance Plan was instructed to be funded and implemented by Chartworld. Though the whistleblower did not originally comply, they later came forward with information that aided in the charges brought forth. For that reason, the whistleblower was granted an award of $25,000.