Tag Archives: Carlos Rafael

‘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

‘How are we going to get paid?’, NOAA shutdown continues to squeeze the life out of Shoreside Businesses

New Bedford, Massachusetts- Anne Jardin-Maynard is an Accountant. She doesn’t own a fishing vessel. The New Bedford native works within an office on Centre Street. Yet for seven months, a groundfish ban implemented by NOAA has prevented Jardin-Maynard from receiving a paycheck. That doesn’t mean owner of Jardin & Dawson, a settlement house, which handles payroll and accounting for fishing boats, has stopped working.,, >click to read<22:12

Held Hostage: New Bedford Fishermen, Businesses losing out while waiting on NOAA

“If something doesn’t happen with groundfishing soon, it’s gone,” general manager of Hercules SLR John Reardon said. NOAA implemented the ban Nov.20 and has continued because of an overage calculated at 72,000 pounds of grey soul, according to multiple people who spoke Monday evening. The overage represents the amount of fish calculated by NOAA that Carlos Rafael misreported. He is serving a 46-month prison sentence, but the NOAA punishment aspect has held many along the waterfront hostage. >click to read<10:27

The ‘Codfather’ is behind bars, and New Bedford’s economy is paying the price

From the icehouse to the auction house, a pall hangs over the fabled wharves in New Bedford. As the new fishing season begins, many of the city’s fishermen are unemployed, their suppliers stuck with excess inventory, and local officials are questioning whether the millions of dollars in lost revenue will cost the port its ranking as the nation’s most valuable, as it has been for the past 17 years. “It’s devastating what’s happened to us, and other businesses here,” said Tor Bendiksen, the manager of Reidar’s, a marine supply company. >click to read< 08:25

Despite sector shuffle, New Bedford fishermen will still be…

Whispers filled the convention room at the Hilton Wednesday as the dozens in attendance attempted to count the raised hands, which signified votes of the New England Fishery Management Council. The three attempts to accurately tally the votes only added to the drama of a discussion that involved a groundfishing ban that’s affected New Bedford since November. In the end, the vote didn’t provide a resolution for those fishermen out of work and the shoreside business affected by the ban. <click to read<18:27

New England Fishery Management Council to hear Sector IX’s post-Rafael plans

The New England Fishery Management Council will be updated on the groundfish crisis involving several New Bedford-based fishing sectors when it convenes for three days of meetings next week in Mystic, Connecticut. The groundfish presentation by staff from the Gloucester-based Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office will be the centerpiece of the groundfish report on Wednesday and is designed to provide “an overview of (Northeast Fishing) Sector IX’s steps to address its shortcomings, as well as a summary of Sector IX’s operations plan,” according to the agenda for the meetings. >click to read<19:26

New Bedford: Industry on the Brink

Two computer screens lit Richie Canastra’s windowless office.  The co-owner of BASE (Buyers and Sellers Seafood Exchange) seafood auction scrolled through scores of financial data associated with commercial fishing landings at 62 Hassey St. The numbers that starred back since NOAA implemented a groundfishing ban last November tell a dark story in an industry already struggling to survive. “With the ban, if we’re not up and fishing by May 1, you might as well just call (groundfishing in New Bedford) over,” Canastra said. >click to read<22:52

EDF tells NOAA Get multiple buyers for Carlos Rafaels assets, more monitoring

Jim Kendall chuckled as he attempted to grasp the words to describe a letter crafted by Environmental Defense Fund, which it sent to NOAA.,,, The letter pitches two strategies to NOAA in handling the permits and punishment linked to Rafael,,, EDF suggests that NOAA should require multiple buyers of Rafael’s assets and require monitoring of his vessels while also establishing funding for the monitoring. >click to read< 18:41

Hitting the Trail: NOAA’s GARFO leader looks to cultivate culture of collaboration

As debuts go, Mike Pentony’s first day on the job as the regional director for NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office was a corker. The federal government marked his ascension on Jan. 22 as only the federal government can — shutting down all but the most essential government services as a consequence of the usual congressional mumbley-peg. “My first action was to come in and proceed with the orderly shutdown of government operations,” Pentony said recently during an interview in the corner office on the uppermost floor of GARFO headquarters in Gloucester’s Blackburn Industrial Park. The respite was short-lived. The shutdown lasted a day. >click to read< 23:52

Post Rafael, New Bedford Fishing Industry Looks to Move Forwad

For perhaps the first time, at least publicly, fishermen on Carlos Rafael vessels sat in the same room Wednesday as John Bullard, the former regional administrator for NOAA, who implemented a groundfishing ban for those vessels. Bullard, wearing a blue NOAA jacket, sat in the front of four-person panel brought together by Rhode Island Public Radio  The fishermen, wearing baseball caps and New Bedford Ship Supply sweatshirts, sat to the left of the panel, which discussed fishing in New Bedford after Carlos Rafael at Star Store.>click to read<21:16

The Shutdown

The National Marine Fisheries Service shut down Sector IX because the majority of its boats and quota belong to Carlos Rafael. This came without warning last November 22 and the order also waived the customary 30-day delay in effectiveness. Far from resolving anything this has exacerbated a bad situation by throwing a widening circle of business owners under the bus as the weeks drag by. >click to read< 15:38

Opinion: Time for NOAA and Sector IX to strike a deal

Eighty New Bedford groundfishermen. They’ve had no work now for almost three months. In the end, those are the guys and it is their families who are paying the biggest price for Carlos Rafael’s longtime conspiracy to falsify fishing records and smuggle the cash overseas. But since Rafael was the big guy on the New Bedford waterfront, the guy who owns the majority of the boats in Sector IX, the fishermen have been out of work since Nov 20 when regional NOAA administrator John Bullard ordered the sector to stop fishing. >click to read< 10:57