Coast Guard charges MDI man with fraud

Posted March 14, 2014, at 12:39 p.m.

SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine — In the latest chapter of what he says is a feud with the Coast Guard, a local resident has had his boat’s global positioning system confiscated and is being accused of workers’ compensation fraud.

Andy Mays, who served active duty in the Coast Guard from 1983 to 1991, was a civilian employee in the electronic support detachment unit at the local Coast Guard station from 2003 until he was fired last week. For the past nine months, until his firing on March 7, he had been on medical leave from his job because of a work-related back injury that resulted in him taking pain medication.

According to an affidavit filed last month in federal court in Bangor, the Coast Guard is alleging that Mays was out on his boat last summer, working his other jobs as a fisherman and commercial scuba diver, during a two-week period in late June when he was claiming workers’ compensation for his injury.

Coast Guard investigators indicate in the affidavit that they have obtained copies of billing records that show Mays provided scuba diving services to Maine State Ferry Service and sold lobster to a local seafood dealer during the period in question.

To support their claims, Coast Guard investigators seized the GPS unit from Mays’ boat, Lost Airmen, on Feb. 28 to see if it might contain data that shows Mays was using the boat in late June. Mays claims investigators vandalized his equipment by cutting cables to the GPS unit instead of simply unplugging it. The way the cables were cut damaged other electronics on his boat and will cost $1,500 to repair, he said.

Mays also claims he only filed the workers’ compensation claim at the insistence of Coast Guard officials. He said he didn’t want the workers’ comp and intentionally never filed the supporting medical documentation so that the claim would not go through. He never received any workers’ compensation funds, he says.

Mays, who admits to having been mouthy with some Coast Guard officials, said he has been feuding with them for years.

In 2010, Coast Guard officials accused him of fraud in connection with a federally funded project to install security cameras on the local waterfront, but the charges later were dismissed. In 2012, he said, the Coast Guard fined him for not having proper licenses when he rescued a sailboat as it was about to run aground off Bass Harbor.

Mays said someone else who was properly licensed was operating his boat during the 2012 rescue. He successfully appealed the fine, he said, and subsequently prevailed in a harassment claim he filed against one of the Coast Guard investigators who has been pursuing him.

Attempts this week to get comment from Coast Guard officials about the allegations against Mays have been unsuccessful.

 

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