Tag Archives: Carlos Rafael

Bureau of Prisons: ‘Codfather’ Carlos Rafael transferred from prison to ‘community confinement’

Community confinement indicates Rafael, 68, is either in home confinement or a Residential Reentry Center (RRC, or halfway house), according to Taylor, which is overseen by the BOP’s Philadelphia Residential Reentry Management Office. According to the BOP’s inmate database, the projected date of his release from custody is March 4, 2021. Rafael was sentenced to 46 months in prison in September 2017 after pleading guilty to 28 offenses, including conspiracy, false labeling of fish, bulk cash smuggling, tax evasion and falsifying federal records. At the time his attorney William Keating requested he serve his sentence at FMC Devens, which is a federal prison for male inmates that need specialized or long-term medical or mental health care. >click to read< 15:30

First Circuit Upholds Conviction of ‘Codfather’ Associate

The conviction of a former sheriff’s department captain for his role in the overseas money laundering of a notorious New England fishing magnate known as “the Codfather” was upheld,, Jamie Melo was accused of distributing envelopes containing large amounts of cash to associates in the men’s room of Boston’s Logan Airport before the group went through security. The group, including the Codfather, was traveling to Portugal for a charitable fundraiser called “Thanksgiving in the Azores” that was sponsored by the Bristol County Sheriff’s Department. Once in the Azores, the Codfather, real name Carlos Rafael, allegedly received the envelopes back and then deposited $76,000 in cash in a bank account. >click to read< 08:31

Carlos Rafael: Twelve fishing vessels sold to Blue Harvest Fisheries to stay in New Bedford

“Today’s acquisition by Blue Harvest represents a level of investment in New Bedford and the groundfish fishery we haven’t seen in years,” said Port of New Bedford Director Ed Anthes-Washburn. “The Port is pleased to see that Blue Harvest is continuing to invest in vessels, processing and facilities.”
Rafael, dubbed ‘The Codfather,’ controlled a significant portion of New Bedford’s fishing fleet before a federal investigation and ensuing guilty plea led to a 46-month prison sentence for falsifying fishing quota, cash smuggling, and tax evasion which he started in November 2017. >click to read<  11:02

Carlos “Codfather” Rafael settlement rankles local fishermen

By the start of the new fishing year on May 1, Carlos Rafael, once owner of one of the largest fishing fleets in the country and known as the “Codfather” will officially be little more than a memory on the New Bedford waterfront. According to his attorney John Markey, Rafael will have sold off all of his fishing empire as part of a settlement agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and will be out of the fishing industry forever. >click to read< 20:32

Phil Paleologos: The Canastra Brothers withdraw their offer

With no explanation offered, the respected Canastra brothers will not move forward with a transaction to acquire 15 vessels. Adios to Carlos Rafael’s groundfish and scallop vessels. Once upon a time, the “Codfather” benefited from close to 40 vessels that generated about $100 million per year in sales. We can say arrivederci to 15 more Rafael vessels as it was announced that Richard and Raymond Canastra, owners of BASE Seafood Auction in New Bedford, have officially taken their offer to purchase the vessels off the table. >click to read< 16:53

New England: Crackdown needed on fishing violations

The local fishing industry has seen itself beset with a seemingly never-ending barrage of challenges during the past few decades. Collapsing fishing stocks, rising fuel prices, and strict government oversight have created an imperfect storm that has decimated what was once a thriving and vibrant industry. Now a new report by the United States Coast Guard has revealed an extensive series of efforts by some to circumnavigate those restrictions,, >click to read< 09:46

New Bedford seafood auction stops sale of Rafael’s boats to Blue Harvest

The fate of Carlos Rafael’s groundfishing vessels is still uncertain, with companies jockeying to get their hands on what’s left of the Codfather’s fleet. According to the CEO of Blue Harvest Fisheries Keith Decker, the company signed a purchase and sale agreement for Rafael’s groundfish vessels, but the agreement was subject to a 30-day Right of First Refusal Period, allowing other members of Rafael’s former sector a chance to match or better the bid. Buyers and Sellers Exchange (BASE) exercised that right, Decker said, “We were notified by Rafael’s attorney on Friday evening.” >click to read< 22:15

Your View: Turning fishery into police state won’t stop fraudsters like Carlos Rafael

First, I want to point out that none of this is to defend Carlos Rafael. The nicest thing he ever said about honest, small boat fishermen like me was to compare us to mosquitoes to his elephant. (“The maggots screaming on the sidelines, they’re done. They can scream all they want. Nobody can save them,>click to read<) I do, however, think this case has one notable shortcoming in that the New York dealer who delivered his “bags of jingles” was never charged. Why? Maybe it is because enforcement used a crooked dealer as its star witness,,, by David Goethel >click to read< 22:23

David Goethel dropped us a note, and we thought we’d share it with you!

I saw your recently posted article about Carlos and Bullard’s ridiculous statement. Rafael’s own fishery complaints opened door to his downfall. Coast Guard report details extensive fishing violations (click to read) I went to that meeting driving 7 hours through a blinding snowstorm to speak for three minutes under public comment with the attached statement. I asked on the record why the corrupt fish dealer in NY was not arrested. I believe you are the only person who mentioned my comment.,,, This whole thing is a very carefully choreographed ballet to get cameras, not catch crooks. >click to read<, and please leave a comment at the bottom. Thank you.18:31

Rafael’s misreported fish ‘disappeared’ at Whaling City auction

A NOAA official has charged that if federal officials were not watching when Carlos Rafael offloaded fish at the Whaling City Display Auction, the catch simply “disappeared.” “If there was no observer on the boat, no dockside monitor, no state environmental police, no NOAA law enforcement officer, the fish would just simply disappear,” NOAA Special Agent Troy Audyatis said, “Thousands upon thousands of fish would simply disappear.” >click to read< 18:23

Rafael’s own fishery complaints opened door to his downfall. Coast Guard report details extensive fishing violations

In January 2015, angered by cuts to his portion of federal groundfish disaster relief, Rafael publicly railed against the process and said he planned to sell his more than 40 vessels and the approximately 60 federal fishing permits attached to them. And with that, five federal law enforcement agencies saw their opening.,,, New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel, in the question-and-answer segment, complained that none of the fish dealers who participated in the scheme — particularly Rafael’s infamous New York dealer — were indicted. >click to read< 06:14

Coast Guard report details extensive fishing violations – “I can’t tell you how angry my fishing community is over this,” Marshfield fisherman Ed Barrett said. Barrett felt NOAA, the New England council and fishermen knew that Rafael was fishing illegally. Rafael had a long history of fishing violations and bragged openly about how he could beat the system, and yet Audyatis said the investigation that eventually caught him didn’t start until 2015. >click to read<

‘There’s no margin’ – Monitors final nail in coffin Feds propose up to 100% fish-counting, unclear on who’s on hook for costs

Groundfishermen, speaking Wednesday afternoon during the public comment period, drew a straight line from the increased monitoring costs to the economic collapse of the fishery. “I made 124 trips last year and each day was 10-14 hours,” said Gloucester fisherman Joe Orlando. “At $700 a day for 100% monitoring, that comes to $84,000 for the year. I didn’t even come close to making that. It would completely bankrupt the sector. And there’s only a handful of us left.” >click to read<  19:45

Quinn Fisheries buys six of Carlos Rafael’s scallop boats

Mayor Jon Mitchell announced the purchase at a hastily announced 3:30 press conference Wednesday afternoon. The mayor had sought to keep the bulk of Rafael’s boats in New Bedford,,, “With the Quinn family’s acquisition of Carlos Rafael’s scallopers and related permits, New Bedford can be assured that a major piece of Rafael’s fishing business will remain here,,,  BASE’s seafood auction owners Richie and Raymond Canastra attempted to block the agreement as part of an apparent attempt to acquire the same vessels,,, >click to read< 08:16

Forced sell-off of ‘Codfather’ assets begins

The sale of Carlos Rafael’s 11 scallop boats and their related permits signals the beginning of his forced divestment from U.S. fisheries. The federal government is making the imprisoned Rafael sell his fishing assets as part of a settlement. An attorney for Charles Quinn and his son Michael Quinn tells The Associated Press the duo’s buying seven of the scallop boats and selling one.  >click to read<  17:17

NOAA to vet buyers, Carlos Rafael divesting fleet as part of civil settlement, serving time in criminal case

Charles Green, the acting chief of the enforcement section of NOAA’s office of general counsel, told the New England Fishery Management Council that Rafael has closed on three vessels and their associated permits. The enforcement section of the agency’s general counsel’s office negotiated the final settlement with the fishing mogul, once known as the Codfather, in the civil case brought by NOAA,,, As part of the settlement that resolved all civil charges, Rafael agreed to a full divestiture of all vessels and associated permits, $3.3 million in civil penalties and a lifetime ban,,, >click to read< 21:24

Fishermen question settlement that could net convicted ‘Codfather’ millions

This week, Rafael was hit with more than $3 million in fines and a lifetime ban as part of a settlement agreement in a civil case brought against him by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But under the terms of that deal, Rafael could walk out of prison two years from now a multimillionaire. Although the settlement required he sell off his vessels, fishing permits and the valuable fishing quota that comes with them, Rafael may keep the proceeds — and he is marketing his fleet to the highest bidder. > click to read< 22:53

The ‘Codfather’ was a seafood kingpin, until fake Russian mobsters took him down.

Though he estimated his net worth at $10 million to $25 million, he still walked the creaky, bait-scented wharves in flannel shirts and worn jeans every day, barking out commands and alternating between foul-mouthed English and rapid-fire Portuguese as he chain-smoked Winston cigarettes and monitored the day’s catch. That all changed in 2016, when federal authorities revealed that Carlos Rafael was at the center of a sprawling criminal investigation involving fake Russian mobsters, fraudulent haddock and duffel bags of cash. >click to read< 14:37

A page of stories about the case, like this one, “F… me – that would be some bad luck!” — Carlos Rafael : Excerpts from “The Case”>click to read<

Carlos Rafael Has Been Banned From Fishing Forever! ‘Codfather’ Civil Case Settlement

The federal government says it has settled its civil case against a fishing magnate known as The Codfather, saying he will never be allowed to return to U.S. fisheries. Carlos Rafael, based out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, was sentenced to prison for shirking fishing quotas and smuggling profits overseas.   >click to read< 13:59

Carlos Rafael to be banned from fishing, pay $3 million – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it settled with Rafael and his fishing captains on Monday.,,, Under the terms of the settlement, Rafael is required to: >click to read<

The Carlos stories leading to this moment in New England Commercial Fishing History>click here<

What About Carlos Rafael, His Permits and His Boats? [OPINION]

There has been little public talk about “The Codfather” and his fishing empire since he was sentenced to federal prison for crimes related to fishing. In September of 2017, Judge William Young sentenced Carlos “The Codfather” Rafael to 46 months in federal prison. Additionally, Judge Young fined him $200,000 and three years supervised probation after his release from prison.,,, hearing rumors that two big players have emerged as the buyers of the boats and the all-important federal permits. One buyer wants the groundfish operation and one wants the scallop operation. There is concern locally that “Wall Street money” is coming in to buy up the local operations. >click to read<08:21

Convicted deputy now suing ‘Codfather’ for $600,000

A trip that was meant to end with Antonio Freitas asking his girlfriend to marry him in France, instead resulted in the former Bristol County deputy getting convicted of a felony and now filing a $600,000 lawsuit against Carlos Rafael. Rafael’s web of crimes entangled Freitas and a captain at the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, but Freitas is claiming his association with the fishing mogul was far worse than what a jury convicted him of. >click to read<

 

Corporate interests endanger independent fishermen

To the editor: The recent purchase of fishing rights in Maine by New York-based equity firm Bregal Partners is a troubling development for fishing communities throughout New England. For years, fishermen have warned that catch share policies would strip access from independent fishermen and hand it over to outside investors, bringing great social, economic and environmental consequences. This recent acquisition is evidence that the warnings need to be heeded. By Jennifer Obadia >click to read<13:16

New Bedford Fishing Boat Captain Sentenced

The former captain of a New Bedford fishing boat owned by Carlos Rafael, a/k/a “The Codfather,” was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for interfering with a U.S Coast Guard (USCG) inspection of a fishing boat off the Massachusetts coast. Thomas D. Simpson, 57, of South Portland, Maine, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to two years of probation, with the first four months to be served in home confinement with electronic monitoring, and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine. In August 2018, Simpson pleaded guilty to one count of destruction or removal of property subject to seizure and inspection. Simpson was the captain of the fishing vessel Bulldog,,, >click to read<18:04

Feds will keep only two of Carol Rafael’s seized vessels

More than a year after a judge ordered Carlos Rafael to forfeit four fishing vessels, the government will retain only two, according court documents obtained by The Standard-Times.,,Judge William Young filed a final forfeiture order Monday. According to the order, the Lady Patricia and all its permits as well as the Olivia & Rafaela and its permits must be forfeited to the United States. A total of $306,490 must also be paid to the United States. >click to read<18:23

Jack Spillane: A Shakespearean tragedy on the New Bedford waterfront

How corrupt is the New Bedford waterfront? John Bullard seems to think it’s more than a little corrupt. Jon Mitchell seems to think it’s corrupt mostly with one top guy. And Jim Kendall seems to think it’s hard for the working guys — fishing boat captains to be specific — to be anything but corrupt when the big evil guy that controlled so many boats (Carlos Rafael) also controlled the ability of so many captains to make a living. “It’s a case of what choice did they have?” asked Kendall in a heart-wrenching Standard-Times story Saturday morning. As a working-class stiff who has worked for “the man” all my life, I can very much identify. Mayor Jon Mitchell pointed out in the Saturday story that prosecutors and regulatory authorities endanger the people’s confidence when they overreach. They risk bringing down the whole system when they crack down on too many working men and women who get swept up by a guy like Carlos Rafael. >click to read<

Drag Net – New Bedford shocked by NOAA’s latest move in Carlos Rafael case

Jim Kendall sees fingerprints on NOAA’s most recent allegations that go beyond Carlos Rafael and loop 22 of his captains into the agency’s non-criminal civil action. “I’ll tell you right now, you can print it or not, but I think John Bullard still has his thumb on the scale,” the former fishing captain and executive director of New Bedford Seafood Consulting said. Kendall backed up his claims by saying, “because I know John. He’s a vindictive SOB.” Bullard is the former mayor of New Bedford, but in this case more importantly acted as the regional administrator for NOAA when Rafael was criminally indicted, pled guilty and was sentenced. Bullard also imposed a groundfishing ban on Rafael-owned vessels. “A comment like that is insulting to all the people who do very important and hard work in the enforcement arena,” Bullard said. >click to read<20:12

NOAA Seeks $3 Million in Civil Fines against Carlos Rafael, Takes Aim at 20 Captains

NOAA hasn’t removed Carlos Rafael from its crosshairs. It’s requesting more than $3 million from the fishing tycoon and also took aim at 20 additional Rafael captains in a civil action filed last week, the governing agency told The Standard-Times on Thursday. NOAA issued superseding charging documents in its civil administrative case involving Rafael on Sept. 10, which added charges and included more respondents than the original document NOAA issued Jan. 10. The new document seeks to revoke 42 of Rafael’s federal fishing permits, prevent Rafael or his agents from applying for NOAA permits in the future, and increase the total monetary penalties sought from $983,528 to $3,356,269.,,, The documents, which are non-criminal, also increased the number of alleged violations of federal fishery laws from 35 to 88 in addition to lassoing 20 of Rafael’s captains into the civil action. The original documents included only two captains. NOAA also is seeking to revoke operator permits of 17 fishing vessel captains for Rafael. >click to read<20:48

Captain with Bristol County Sheriff’s Office Convicted of Smuggling Rafael Profits to Portugal

A Captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office was convicted today by a federal jury in connection with helping Carlos Rafael, known as the Codfather in the fishing industry, and the owner of one of the largest commercial fishing businesses in the U.S., smuggle the profits of his illegal overfishing scheme to Portugal. Jamie Melo, 46, of North Dartmouth, Mass., was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States and one count of structuring the export of monetary instruments. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for Oct. 24, 2018. The jury acquitted the defendant of one count of bulk cash smuggling. >click to read<08:31

Former New Bedford Fishing Captain Pleads to Hindering Coast Guard Inspection at Sea

A former New Bedford fishing boat captain pleaded guilty Thursday to interfering with a U.S. Coast Guard inspection and faces sentencing Nov. 28, federal prosecutors said. Thomas D. Simpson, 57, of South Portland, Maine, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of destruction or removal of property subject to seizure and inspection, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. On May 31, 2014, the Bulldog was engaged in commercial fishing off the coast of Massachusetts when the USCG boarded the vessel to perform a routine inspection, the news release said.  At the time of the boarding, the Bulldog’s net was deployed in the water and the crew was actively fishing. >Click to read<18:49

New Bedford: NOAA lifts groundfish ban – Approval in place immediately

Nearly eight months to the day after NOAA closed groundfishing for Carlos Rafael vessels, the agency lifted the ban on Thurday that had put 80 fishermen out of work. NOAA announced the approval for lease-only operations plan for Sector IX and allocated quota for Sector VII. “Continuing to withhold this amount of quota from the fishery significantly hampers the ability of the fishery as a whole to operate,” NOAA said in the 17 page document. >click to read<10:59

NOAA Fisheries sent this bulletin at 07/19/2018 11:16 AM EDT-NOAA Fisheries Approves Lease-Only Operations Plan for Sector 9, Amendment to Sector 7 Operations Plan, and Quota Allocations for Sectors 7 and 9 – >click to read<11:39

Opinion: Revitalizing waterfront is still up to sectors and Carlos Rafael

Carlos Rafael misreported his groundfish catch, and in its piece, “Time for NOAA to let Sector IX fish again,” the times is misreporting facts. First, NOAA didn’t calculate, as the piece states, that Rafael misreported just 72,000 poiundes of grey sole. He openly admitted to stealing over 10 times that amount, of several different fish stocks. Rather NOAA has apparently calculated that all but some remaining grey sole has been repaid, with quota seized earlier to cover the debt. Second, neither Sector IX has submitted a plan to return to fishing. Hank Soule >click to read<19:20