AN ENGINEER is suing his former shipping company for at least $23M, alleging that it used him as a scapegoat in a ‘magic pipe’ case earlier this year. George Mylonakis was acquitted in April on charges of violating US pollution laws while serving as chief engineer on the 69,933dwt tanker Georgios M from November 2008 to February 2009.
“This isn’t a money grab,” Mylonakis’s attorney George Chalos said. “This is about a guy who was used as a scapegoat by a bunch of rich dudes who thought they’d get a break by offering the government a sacrificial lamb – and that’s just wrong.”
During the investigation, the vessel’s Panamanian ship management company, Styga Compania Naviera, negotiated a $1.25M guilty plea that exonerated the company but pinned the blame on Mylonakis.
The engineer alleges that four family members who run the company knew the ship had been violating MARPOL for years when he was hired in November 2008 – and that they worked behind the scenes with federal prosecutors to charge him.
Mylonakis, who was held by federal authorities for 14 months before being acquitted, is suing Styga and the four co-defendants for both punitive damages and compensatory damages.