Man pleads guilty to false statement about boat he sunk in Lake Ontario

A Ukrainian national living in Rochester has pleaded guilty to making a false statement about a sunken vessel in Lake Ontario.

Vyacheslav S. Migitskiy, 33, pleaded guilty in federal court to making a materially false statement. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, on Aug. 25, 2022, Migitskiy towed a 25-foot Bayliner boat onto Lake Ontario and sank it without reporting his actions. The following day, on Aug. 26, 2022, witnesses discovered the partially submerged boat and reported it to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard launched a search and rescue effort, along with the New York State police and other law enforcement agencies. They deployed surface vessels, aircraft and SCUBA search teams, at a cost of $14,194 to the Coast Guard and $1,248 to the NYSP, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

On Oct. 4, 2022, Migitskiy told a Coast guard special agent that he had donated the boat to unnamed people. The U.S. Attorney’s office says he provided a false description of these people and false information on how they removed the vessel from his property and what they did with its trailer.

The Coast Guard Investigative Service, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, Rochester Fire Department, and the Greece, Gates and Irondequoit police departments investigated.

Migitskiy is to be sentenced April 18, 2024 at 3 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci.