This year alone, cruise ship incidents like the recent Grandeur of the Seas fire, four overboard cruise accidents, dozens of sexual assaults, and even gunpoint robberies have already transpired.
Here at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., our cruise ship lawyers have seen it all when it comes to mishaps and mayhem on the high seas. But while crimes onboard cruise ships or in port usually involve some form of injustice committed on an actual person, one maritime criminal mastermind has proven that anything is possible when it comes to this industry and its suppliers.
This week, Florida authorities were called in to assist in a rather unique cruise line crime that involved fraud, theft and impersonation. Officials with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Jacksonville and the Miami Regional Operations Centers arrested David Subil, a 42-year-old Miami resident, in Pompano Beach yesterday.
According to reports on the cruise ship scam, Subil tried to purchase $60,000 worth in shrimp from a Ft. Myers, Florida seafood wholesaler yesterday, posing as a cruise line worker to obtain bulk deals. The allegations are that Subil contacted a seafood supplier and attempted to open an account for a cruise line. Representing himself as a food purchaser for the line, the seafood swindler would arrange for the delivery of the seafood from the wholesaler at dock facilities in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, or Volusia Counties. Subil would then leave the transaction with tons of seafood, while the wholesaler would leave with only counterfeit checks.
In this manner, the con artist amassed huge quantities of shrimp, fish and the popular cruise passenger favorite, lobster. However, this isn’t the first time he’s tried this maritime mugging scam on seafood wholesalers. Using the alias “Rick Stevenson” and “Rick Acosta,” authorities contend Subil has managed to pilfer around $200,000 in seafood in Florida and Alabama by pretending to be a cruise ship worker.
No word on when a hearing date will be set, but for now, let this incident be a lesson learned to everyone in or who deals with the maritime community. Thoroughly check the credentials of those whom you do business with and where they do business, because while this crime did not involve any injuries to passengers or crew, others could.
Anyone suffering a crime during any stage of a cruise vacation should contact an attorney for assistance and guidance with respect to their rights, and eligibility to receive compensation for their damages, pain and suffering.