Plans to dock a Caribbean cruise ship in Alexandria have been jeopardized by disclosure that the head of the cruise company has a criminal record plus questions raised about his financial statement, an Alexandria official said yesterday.
Mark Horowitz, an assistant to the city manager, said that unless the city receives new information from George Scarborough, president of International Cruise Lines Inc., by next week, it will notify Scarborough that negotiations with him for a docking permit will be terminated.
Scarborough, who has said he runs a million-dollar firm specializing in oil tankers, bulk cargo carriers and passenger vessels, could not be reached for comment.
The telephone at his office at 6216 Marlboro Pike, District Heights, has been disconnected, according to a phone company recording.
Scarborough, 32, pleaded guilty in 1976 to bad check charges in connection with a fraud scheme by which he bilked people out of money they had paid him for trips on a ship he was not licensed to operate, according to law enforcement officials. He served 15 months in prison on the check charges, according to D.C. police. Records also show that Scarborough was convicted in 1976 of assaulting an Internal Revenue Service agent who was trying to audit his taxes.
In December, Scarborough approached Horowitz about the possibility of using the Alexandria docks for a Caribbean cruise ship Scarborough said he wanted to purchase, Horowitz said.
In support of his application, Scarborough submitted what he said was a Dun & Bradstreet financial analysis, Horowitz said. The analysis says that International Cruise Lines had a net worth of $540,331, with sales of $1.16 million, and employs 16 persons, including eight in the United States.
A notation at the bottom of the financial analysis form says that the information had been submitted by Scarborough but had not been audited by Dun & Bradstreet, a firm that evaluates American businesses.The status of Scarborough's financial analysis could not be learned from Dun & Bradstreet yesterday.
In January the City Council authorized its staff to pursue negotiations with Scarborough about the possible use of city docks by his firm. Under the proposed arrangement, Scarborough would pay for any improvements needed at the docks, and the city would receive a fee for a docking permit as well as taxes from the sale of cruise tickets, officials said.
Such an arrangement had worked successfully last November, when the cruise ship Caribe, operated by a different firm, used the Alexandria docks, officials said.
After newspaper reports of the City Council action, police and law enforcement officials notified Alexandria officials of Scarborough's record.
Last week City Manager Douglas Harman wrote a letter to Scarborough demanding detailed financial information. The letter concluded by stating, "Under no circumstances should you presume that the city of Alexandria will grant your request for the use of the city docking facility until you are so notified."
Scarborough has not yet responded to the requests, Horowitz said yesterday.
In 1974 Scarborough got 5 percent of the vote in a losing campaign for a seat on the District of Columbia City Council. He campaigned on a platform that called, among other things, for increased polic protection. In 1975 a limousine service Scarborough ran under the name of Scar II Enterprises was shut down for technical violations by the Interstate Commerce Commission, according to police.