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Sebastian Marina Owner to Reimburse DEP for Stolen Grant Funds

September 17, 2009

marina-1~Courts order man to pay $65,000~

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – A Sebastian marina owner was recently ordered to pay $65,000 for restitution and investigative costs to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as a result of submitting fraudulent grant applications to DEP’s Clean Marina Program. Damien Gilliams, 49, pled no contest on August 24, 2009 in the Indian River County Court to second degree felony grand theft and received a sentence of five years probation with adjudication withheld.

“We take the theft of grant funds seriously,” said DEP Division of Law Enforcement Director Henry Barnet. “Thanks to the hard work of our Criminal Investigations Bureau, we are able to recoup the grant funds lost during this illegal transaction.”

Gilliams was arrested in 2007 after an eight month investigation by a DEP agent revealed he fraudulently billed the state for two sanitary pump-out stations at marinas he owned in Sebastian.

DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement is responsible for statewide environmental resource law enforcement, providing law enforcement services to Florida’s state parks and greenways and trails. Agents investigate environmental resource crimes and illegal dredge and fill activities, and respond to natural disasters, civil unrest, hazardous material incidents and oil spills that can threaten the environment.

To report an environmental crime, wireless customers can dial #DEP. Callers can also report environmental crimes to the State Warning Point by calling (877) 2-SAVE-FL (1.877.272.8335). General environmental inquiries should be directed to DEP district offices during business hours.

For more information about DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/law.

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