WATERTOWN A Clayton man sentenced Monday to federal prison for unlawfully posing as a commercial shipping pilot was sentenced Friday in Jefferson County Court to a concurrent state prison sentence for defrauding several local businesses.
Mark J. Anselm, 37, was sentenced to 11⁄3 to 4 years in prison after pleading guilty Jan. 21 to first-degree scheme to defraud and fourth-degree grand larceny. The sentence will run at the same time as a seven-year sentence imposed Monday in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, after Nov. 22 guilty pleas to six felony offenses that charged him with making false statements to officials of the U.S. Coast Guard, possession and use of an altered merchant marine license and aggravated identity theft.
In the County Court case, Mr. Anselm admitted that in April 2013 he stole more than $1,000 worth of goods and services from Charles Garlock & Sons, Alexandria Bay, and that in March 2013, he unlawfully obtained merchandise and services from businesses in the towns of Clayton, Cape Vincent and Watertown, as well as in the city of Watertown. At the time of his arrest, state police alleged that he wrote a bad check for $1,200 to Charles Garlock & Sons and that he wrote checks to numerous businesses on a closed account.
In the federal case, Mr. Anselm admitted that during 2011 and 2012 he represented himself to federal officials, to various marina owners and to other potential employers as being a licensed commercial ship pilot when he was not. He admitted to having repeatedly presented fraudulent merchant marine licenses to employers and potential employers that he had altered to substitute his name.
With his false licenses, he gained employment and operated various ships on Lake Ontario. His criminal conduct was discovered by the Coast Guard after he grounded a commercial tugboat, the Ronald J. Dahlke, in Canadian waters on June 19, 2012.
The ensuing investigation revealed numerous instances of Mr. Anselm holding himself out as a licensed commercial merchant marine captain based upon licenses he forged, according to the U.S. attorneys office.