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Former Holland American Line Executive Pleads Guilty and is Sentenced for False Compliance Reporting

Release Date: 07/14/2004
Contact Information:

Christopher Lagan 202-564-7338 /

(07/14/04) Richard K. Softye of Seattle, Wash., former Vice President-Operating Line Compliance at Holland America Line and a former career Coast Guard Officer, pled guilty and was sentenced on charges that he falsely reported that the Holland America Line was implementing its portion of a court-ordered environmental compliance plan (ECP). The Court ordered Softye to pay a $10,000 fine, serve three years probation and perform 450 hours of community service. The ECP was required of Carnival Corporation, the parent company of Holland America. In April 2002, Carnival pled guilty to charges that it made false entries in its Oil Record Books and was ordered to pay $18 million in fines and environmental service projects. Carnival was also ordered to institute an environmental compliance program in all of its lines, including Holland America. Oil Record Books are required to account for the disposal of waste oil aboard ships. The release of waste oil into the sea can harm fish and other aquatic life. By falsely reporting that Holland America was implementing an environmental compliance audit program, Softye compromised the integrity of Carnival’s ECP and hindered the Court’s ability to oversee Holland America’s compliance. Sentencing was handed down on June 29 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division Office in Miami and the FBI. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami.