Tag Archives: Carlos Seafood

Opinion: Rafael’s assets could fund observer program

Any discussion of fishery management nowadays — official and casual alike — is likely to include musings on what should happen to the assets forfeited by Carlos Rafael as punishment for his recent crimes. Mr. Rafael pleaded guilty to charges related to his falsifying landing records and laundering cash, and is scheduled to be sentenced in late July. The courts are working to untangle the IRS and fisheries crimes, dealing with them at one time. A careful distinction between tax penalties and fishing penalties must be made.  The penalties for the tax crimes will be arrived at through IRS rules and laws. The penalties for fisheries crimes are stipulated in NOAA regulations. They provide great latitude in application, from a slap on the wrist to a permanent end of fishing for Carlos Seafood. The defense is making an argument that Mr. Rafael’s influence on the fishery is so important — due to his size — that economic harm to others would be too great if he were to be sanctioned too severely. click here to read the op-ed 08:42

Prosecutors – Carlos Seafood’s transaction reports didn’t match up

The FV Hera II, a boat that prosecutors said fishing fleet owner Carlos Rafael owned through a shell corporation, reported catching 4,595 pounds of haddock on Jan. 25, then selling it to Rafael’s Carlos Seafood business, a registered dealer, according to the indictment of Rafael that was unsealed Monday. Carlos Seafood also recorded acquiring 840 pounds of American plaice, or “dabs,” from the Hera II that day, prosecutors said. But here’s the rub: Records of Carlos Seafood’s third-party sales Jan. 25, according to the indictment, cite about 200 pounds of haddock and 5,200 pounds of dabs. In other words, prosecutors allege, a lot of the fish caught by the Hera II on Jan. 25 and reported as “haddock” actually were dabs, which are subject to stricter regulatory quotas. Read the rest here 17:37

Prosecutors get extension of deadline to indict New Bedford fishing magnate Carlos Rafael

carlos rafaelProsecutors have received an extension of the deadline to indict local fishing magnate Carlos Rafael, a U.S. District Court spokesperson confirmed Friday. The length of the deadline’s extension was not disclosed. Rafael, 63, was arrested Feb. 26 on charges of conspiracy and submitting falsified records to the government, after federal authorities raided the building on New Bedford’s waterfront. He was released March 2 on a $1 million bond, with conditions including a monitoring bracelet and nightly curfew at his Dartmouth home. Read the story here 07:29

Should catch share management be indicted in the Carlos Seafood case? – David Goethel

dave goethelAccording to accusations from Federal investigators, the seafood business run by Carlos Rafael “laundered” fish to evade quotas, sold fish for cash to evade taxes, and cheated captains and crews by paying them for lower-valued fish than what they landed. These are serious criminal accusations, but they also raise a disturbing question: Is the system known as “catch shares” at least in part responsible for what occurred? Catch shares are a system of managing fish where fishermen are given fixed quota for each species, which they can either catch or lease. Read the rest here 07:25

Carlos Rafael returns to work at Carlos Seafood on New Bedford’s waterfront

AR-160309730.jpg&MaxW=650Local fishing magnate Carlos Rafael, arrested a week ago on federal conspiracy and falsification charges then released from custody Wednesday on a $1 million bond, gave a simple statement Thursday when he returned a phone call. “Of course I’m working today,” he said, referring to his Carlos Seafood business. Rafael, his gravelly voice distinctive over the phone, declined to comment further — neither about the pending case nor about the highly valuable fishing permits and quotas he holds. Whether those quotas stay among fishermen in New Bedford’s port, or are sold elsewhere, could be a hugely significant question for the city’s fishing industry in coming months. “No comment at this time,” Rafael said. Read the rest here 20:52

Feds seize documents from Rafael’s alleged New York buyer

US federal agents are said to have seized documents from a New York City fish company who’s owner is reportedly the buyer named in the affidavit accusing Carlos Rafael of massive illegal fish sales. Two sources said federal agents have seized documents from New York-based South Street Seafood since Carlos Rafael, who owns a fleet of 40 whitefish and scallop vessels and the processing business Carlos Seafood, was arrested on Friday. Rafael and his accountant, Debra Messier, have been charged with conspiracy and submitting falsified records to the government to evade federal fishing quotas. Read the rest here 08:48

Monitor costs shift to fishermen Tuesday, fall out from Carlos Seafood, and EDF opportunists.

manatthewheelCape Ann lawmakers Bruce Tarr and Ann-Margaret Ferrante walked a thin line last week when they sat down and penned a letter to state Attorney General Maura Healey on the issue of at-sea monitoring. While the fishermen’s lawsuit has drawn the most attention, there is another that could prove equally as troubling to NOAA and the fishing industry: maritime environmental group Oceana’s lawsuit challenging NOAA Fisheries’ bycatch rule. The issue of monitoring burst back into the public arena on Friday, when federal agents — including those from NOAA Law Enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service — raided the operations of Carlos Seafood,,, The arrests prompted a quick response from environmental groups seeking expanded monitor coverage for the groundfish fishery. Read the rest here 07:22