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Clayton man could face 27 years in prison, $1.5 million dollar fine

Mark Anselm used fraudulent Merchant Marine licenses to obtain employment and operate ships on Lake Ontario from 2011-2012.
Clayton (WTNY) -- A Clayton man could face up to 27 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine after admitting that he pretended to be a licensed commercial ship pilot.

37-year-old Mark Anselm pleaded guilty Friday in a Syracuse courtroom to six felony offenses that charged him with making false statements to officials of the US Coast Guard, possession and use of an altered merchant marine license, and aggravated identity theft.

Anselm used fraudulent Merchant Marine licenses to obtain employment and operate ships on Lake Ontario from 2011-2012.

It all began when he grounded a tug boat he was piloting on Lake Ontario on June 19. He claimed to investigators that he was a licensed commercial pilot, something federal authorities say turned out to be not true. The charges against him include making false statements, possession and use of an altered merchant marine license, fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

Sentencing is set for March 28.




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