Tag Archives: ‘Codfather’

Despite guilty plea, ‘Codfather’ continues to fish

New England fishermen are wondering how the fishing fleet owned by New Bedford fishing mogul Carlos Rafael continues to fish nearly five months after he pleaded guilty on March 30 in federal district court in Boston to 28 offenses, including conspiracy, false labeling of fish, bulk cash smuggling, tax evasion and falsifying federal records. Those vessels include many Rafael agreed to forfeit in his plea deal for their role in his scheme to sell fish he didn’t have enough quota to catch, under the name of species for which he had enough quota. The fishing year starts May 1 and Rafael won’t be sentenced until Sep. 25 and 26. Many are angry that Rafael’s fleet has been allowed to operate through the summer months when fishermen traditionally catch most of their fish. click here to read the story 09:51

The Last Trial of the Codfather

Last night, just nine fishing boats pulled up to the dock behind the building, far fewer than the hundreds of boats lining up for the old city auction on Pier 3 in the 1980s. Back then, boats would haul in as much as 500 tonnes of cod, haddock, flounder, and other species of groundfish from the icy depths of the North Atlantic. Today’s groundfish catch is 4.3 tonnes. Most of the money keeping the port afloat is in scallops. I start to pull out a chair to take a seat when I hear a voice behind me. “I don’t think you want to do that,” says a lanky, gray-haired man reading a magazine. “The guy who normally sits in that chair will choke you to death.” “Choke you to death on cigarette smoke!” cracks a black guy with a patch on his beret that reads, “I’m Cape Verdean.” After I move to the back row, a big-bellied, bald man in a plaid shirt pushes past the No Smoking sign on the front door and walks into the room. He takes his seat and lights up a Winston cigarette. He spits out a few words about a dissatisfied fish buyer to the auction owner in raspy Portuguese. Then, he switches to English. “Tell him he can go fuck himself, the fish is fine,” he growls. “I saw every fucking one, it’s his fucking problem.” It doesn’t take me long to realize that this is Carlos Rafael, otherwise known as The Codfather, who was out of jail on a US $2-million bond. Under the table, an electronic monitoring bracelet is beaming his location to federal authorities who are making sure he gets back to his house every night by 8:30 p.m. Read this article here 21:16

Sheriffs Deputy accused alongside ‘Codfather’ reportedly told investigators of cash smuggling

antonio freitasA sheriff’s deputy accused of cash smuggling alongside scallops magnate Carlos ‘Codfather’ Rafael reportedly admitted his actions to investigators, court records show. Rafael’s lawyers argue that because the deputy, Antonio Freitas, allegedly made incriminating statements to officials, trying the cases together would jeopardize Rafael’s constitutional rights. They have asked for a judge to agree to hold the two trials separately.  Freitas is accused of having received $17,500 in bulk cash from Rafael and on Feb. 5, 2016, allegedly divided that money between himself and his fiancé and flew to Portugal without declaring it. The funds were later deposited into a Portuguese bank account controlled by Rafael, the indictment states. According to the recent motion made by Rafael’s lawyers, Freitas detailed his role in the cash smuggling when questioned by officers. Read the story here 14:12

New hearing date for indicted “Codfather” Carlos Rafael, sheriff’s deputy

carlos rafaelThe next scheduled court date for indicted fishing magnate Carlos Rafael is a June 22 status conference in Boston, and a trial would have to begin by early September should the case go that far, according to court documents filed this week. The status conference also will include indicted Bristol County Sheriff’s Office deputy Antonio M. Freitas, a 46-year-old Taunton resident. The conference will be held at U.S. District Court in Boston, and signals the transfer of Rafael’s and Freitas’ cases from Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy to District Court Judge William G. Young. This week’s documents also shed light on when potential trials for Rafael and Freitas could begin. Prosecutors’ indictment of Rafael and Freitas was unsealed May 9, and Freitas appeared in court that day, meaning the Speedy Trial Act would require a trial to begin within 70 days of that initial appearance. Young ruled this week, though, to start the 70-day clock at the June 22 status hearing, rather than May 9. A motion requesting the extension had been agreed upon by prosecutors and defense counsel. Read the rest here 11:26

‘Codfather’ arrest exposes empire’s potential impact on fisheries

AR-160229553.jpg&MaxW=315&MaxH=315An affidavit filed by IRS agents in support of the federal criminal case against New Bedford fishing fleet owner Carlos Rafael offered “a rare, candid look” inside the operation of the top groundfish fisherman in the region and the single largest fleet owner in the United States, according to Peter Shelley, senior counsel for the Conservation Law Foundation. But the 24-page narrative filed in U.S. District Court last Friday also exposed the shortcomings of fisheries enforcement, which seemed tantamount to an honor system, with gaps in oversight so big Rafael was allegedly able to navigate safely through them for 30 years, which, if true, may have had a profound effect on fish stocks and how their health is assessed. All the ENGO “big’s” are quoted! Peter Shelley fought for this. Read the rest here 12:39