Kumar must pay $489K

Sandusky man made false distress call, ordered to reimburse patrols for search
Melissa Topey
Apr 24, 2014


A Sandusky man who made a false distress call two years ago must reimburse the U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Armed Forces to the tune of $489,000.

Danik Kumar pleaded guilty Jan. 17, 2013, in U.S. Northern District Court to one count of making a false distress call. He was sentenced to three months in prison, 250 hours of community service and three years of supervised release.

He was also ordered to pay about $277,000 to the U.S. Coast Guard and about $212,000 to the Canadian government, as reimbursement for costs related to the daylong search in March 2012.

Kumar appealed the order, but on Tuesday the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2-1 opinion that stated the U.S. Northern District Court in Toledo was correct in ordering him to pay back the costs of the search.

“This is an onerous burden to place on the shoulders of a young man, but it is consonant with Congress’s manifest intent to deal harshly with such hoaxes, in order to deter the diversion of critical resources away from true emergencies,” the decision stated.

Circuit Judge Helene White was the lone dissenter. She agreed the district court had authority to order Kumar to pay for the search, but she disagreed with the amount imposed, saying indirect costs — such as running, maintenance and managing the Coast Guard — should not have been included in the restitution.

Kumar’s attorney, Edmund Searby, said he’s deciding if he should appeal the decision, either by asking the entire Circuit Court to review the decision or by going to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We are disappointed with the decision,” Searby said. “Like everyone else, the government should be limited to recovering its actual losses”



Isn't he a doctor's son?

Spy's picture

Not sure, but if I would imagine being able to own a plane at 19 and the cost of lessons to get a pilot's license that you would have to had help from the family.


But if you sell drugs and people die its fine and often no jail time. lol what a jacked up system. Our whole system needs some serious remodeling.


Doesn't matter whose son he is ~ he did something horribly wrong and now he has to own up to his choices. Aside from the money, he shouldn't be able to operate a boat himself ever again. Meanwhile we have families waiting to find two men who are legitimately missing.....perhaps Danik should be part of the search for them and see with his own eyes what these men will look like after weeks in the water. Help with the funerals, witness the pain and grieving of the families, knowing that he could have potentially taken away from a real incident like this with his horrible choices!


He appealed the decision. What does HE think he should be given as a punishment? A slap on the wrist? Told not to do it again? Did he think it was a fun joke? I mean no one was actually hurt right? I agree with ^ritt^ let him join in the search for actual missing people.


So with that thought, Jason Werling and SR, how does one go about suggesting to the powers that be that part of Mr. Kumar's sentence include actively helping in the search for the two gentlemen? Perhaps it could be a part of his "community service hours"? I don't know that "money" will matter to him as much as searching and finding a real missing person may??

Hoping that my thoughts here in no way offend the families and friends of the 4 from the recent boating accident. That is not my intent by any means. My thoughts and prayers go out to them. It just sickens me that Kumar selfishly tied up huge resources over a prank that could have taken away from a real emergency somewhere else.


ritt - Great idea, even better , have him join the Coast Guard and have him work it off instead of daddy paying the bills. At the rate our young enlisted troops are paid it would only take him 15-20 year to pay the money back!


Just so everyone knows a little more. Danik is a hard working young man I have witnessed him work 3 jobs for over 80 hours a week before he currently has 2 jobs. At the time the crime occurred he was new to flying and got disoriented over the water as a fellow pilot I can vouch for that he did not intentionally make the prank. He is not a bad kid and for all of you that talk about how daddy pays for everything he doesn't he was flying a school plane he doesn't own one he took out student loans like a normal kid to pay for school. He pays for everything for himself doc has taught him the importance of hard work and the value of a dollar. The amount of money they ordered on him involved retirement plans for people that work in DC and down south who probably don't even know about this case also was the upkeep for buildings at stations that weren't even involved he owes money but it should only be for costs he created not for retirement and upgrading buildings. He will be successful even with this over his head I know the guy and I can tell. He is an amazing person and more people in Sandusky should be like him maybe it wouldn't be such a sh** hole then he made a mistake and he is paying for it so stop bashing him since a lot of you don't even know him or have never even seen him before he is moving because of a**holes like on here who are harassing him he is going to school next year in Texas to finish flight training and to become a successful pilot!


Thks for setting the record straight truth. I still say if he wants to pay off his debt to society, he can serve his country.


Thank you Truth17 for the background and insight. If you note, I said it doesn't matter who his Dad is, a person is responsible for themselves and certainly shouldn't ride the coat tails of their parent(s). I am familiar with his Dad and am fairly certain the silver spoon doesn't exist here.

Thanks to the media, they choose to print the parts that sell papers, sadly, which never leaves us with enough of the true story. I had wondered why the cost was so very high and thought that perhaps it was that high purely because of who was involved, which isn't right. Money aside, Danik made a mistake and the courts thus far see it that way (so far). I don't see where a hefty fine is going to be of any benefit other than financial. I still believe it still might be a great learning experience on so many levels for him to be a part of the search for the 2 men. He gives back, and learns something along the way especially given that he wants to be pilot. Only my 2 cents. He is a kid. He's got a lot of life to live. This will haunt him for a long time, sadly again, because of who he is. I wish him well with his schooling and hope that in the end, this was a learning experience for him.


Thank u ritt Danik is a good guy he actually was out flying with his buddy and heard people were missing when the coast guard chopper was refueling he tried to help by doing a few circles around the area to see if he could see anything I know this cause I was the buddy with him but sadly could not see anything


Anymajdude he was ROTC before all this forced him to take a year off of school he was trying to go army or national guard


Why does the coast guard get funded tax money of they are just going to charge people obscene amounts of money for an honest mistake this isn't the first time the coast guard charged someone alloy of money a fisherman who needed rescued got a bill because they said he was negligent and it was his own fault if the captain of that boat who is still missing would have survived I think he would have gotten a bill too