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Shipper Fined $1.25 Million at Long Beach

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A German shipping company must pay $1.25 million after pleading guilty to two felony environmental charges stemming from a cargo ship that entered the Port of Long Beach last year with an open crack in its hull that may have spilled oil.

Herm. Dauelsberg GmbH & Co. KG pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced immediately by U.S. District Judge George Wu. It pleaded guilty to failing to maintain accurate records on the overboard disposal of fuel oil and failing to report a hazardous condition aboard the M/V Bellavia to the Coast Guard, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Four whistle-blowing crew members, who reported the crimes, with photos and video, will get $500,000 from the $1 million fine. The other $250,000 will go toward environmental causes.

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