AVOID – Alex Moukas owes us $358,000.00

Alex Moukas

Alex Moukas has defaulted on his contractual and financial obligations with Global Expeditions Management (GEM).

Alex Moukas has defaulted on his agreed payments to be made through the Ocean Conservation Exploration Education Foundation (OCEEF), a foundation Alex Moukas established and with which GEM was contracted. The past due amount is $339,817.00 and is almost 1 year past due. GEM is not alone, as Alex Moukas/OCEEF has defaulted on numerous ship support contracts from South Florida through the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. This default includes the bareboat charter with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) for the RV Odyssey. The Alex Moukas/OCEEF charter with WHOI was terminated for cause – non-payment of charter fees. Additionally, under Alex Moukas’s management, the vessel was arrested five times for failure to pay for vessel operating expenses to vendors and port authorities.

GEM is a company formed to connect owners of research support vessels available for charter with non-profit educational marine research institutions seeking vessel support. The founders of GEM have over 100 years of collective experience in managing vessel support, marine operations, and the application of technology in marine science. They are widely known in the ocean research community. The staff of GEM also includes expertise in vessel marketing, crewing, maintenance, project management, and maritime insurance.

In 2021 GEM was working with the owner of the ocean research vessel RV Alucia to secure a sale or long-term charter of the vessel. Alex Moukas was introduced to GEM as a person of financial means interested in a long-term vessel charter. At the first meeting, Alex Moukas claimed to be a person of significant financial means, presenting himself as knowledgeable and capable of vessel chartering and operations and having the sufficient financial capacity to support the associated expenses.

Alex Moukas

Alex Moukas was appraised of the specifications, history, and, most importantly, the operating costs of Alucia. Alex Moukas expressed an interest in the 3-year charter of the vessel being offered and wanted to proceed.

GEM introduced Alex Moukas to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), the ultimate owner of the ship to be renamed RV Odyssey at the commencement of the Alex Moukas/OCEEF charter. GEM’s relationship with WHOI’s management was a significant influence in WHOI’s ultimate decision to sign a bareboat charter agreement with Alex Moukas. GEM worked with Alex Moukas gratis for several months to assist in his securing a 3-year charter for Alucia. Alex Moukas signed a bareboat charter with WHOI in February 2022, and the vessel’s name was changed to RV Odyssey.

On March 30, 2021, GEM signed a formal three-year contract with Alex Moukas/OCEEF to provide marketing, technical, and maintenance support to Alex Moukas/OCEEF’s operation of the RV Odyssey. The base fee was $40,000.00 per month. He was to pay in advance each month. Our services with Alex Moukas included vessel marketing, project management, locating science equipment, including submersibles, securing specialized crewing for submersibles, and operations. GEM was responsible for operational analysis, detailed operational cost modeling projections, and on some projects, on-site program management.

Alex Moukas paid for the first four months (April, 2022 through July 2022) of the GEM/OCEEF contract, then abruptly stopped paying. Alex Moukas had informed us at the group meeting after signing GEM that he was a “SLOW PAYER.” Alex Moukas is a “NO PAYER,” considering that, besides GEM, the number of firms Alex Moukas is in default with exceeds fifteen. Our South African lawyer indicated that “there are over thirty creditors represented by one law firm, Clyde & Co, who have claims against the demise charterer of the ship and who have not arrested the ship. About fifteen of them filed Caveats against Release of the Ship, both against the arrest by our clients and against the arrest which remains in place”.

Alex Moukas

This does not include WHOI, the vessel owner with whom Alex Moukas had once held a three-year bareboat charter ……. now terminated for cause.

We continued to work with Alex Moukas past July 2022, when he stopped paying GEM. We did this to support the ship and clients GEM had brought tothe vessel. GEM was hopeful that once project revenues started, Alex Moukas would bring the contract payments current. GEM generated over $1,000,000.00 in contract revenues. GEM also supported the operations on sight until the vessel was arrested twice in the Maldives and three times in Cape Town, South Africa, and Woods Hole Oceanographic was forced to intervene in Alex Moukas’s lack of payments to save the vessel from judicial sale and terminated the bareboat charter and assume control.  We continued to hold weekly Zoom status calls with Alex Moukas. At his urging, we continued to develop new client opportunities as Alex Moukas indicated he was about to secure outside funding support. This effort was difficult as the Odyssey was arrested in Cape Town, South Africa, and could not move to support.

We continued to press for payment each time Alex Moukas promised he was just about to sell his company or come into a windfall of money, or outside donations were about to invest. Alex owes GEM $339,817.00 in past-due invoices.

GEM has been left with no choice but to continue to explore ways to compel Alex Moukas to pay his obligations. We have repeatedly asked him for payment during our weekly Zoom meetings and have emailed invoices in writing in accordance with the contract. Our CFO has asked Alex Moukas directly, both in person and by phone.

Alex Moukas stands behind the corporate veil while promoting OCEEF, a company with no assets, no revenue, and is debt-ridden. Alex Moukas lives in Greece, a location difficult and expensive to prosecute from the U.S.