Couple allegedly steals USD 2.5 million worth of seafood from Key West fish house
Two executives at a fish house in Key West, Florida, U.S.A., were arrested on warrants related to the theft of an estimated USD 2.5 million (EUR 2.2 million) worth of seafood.
Marianela Armenteros, general manager a fish house owned by the Valero-Duran Corporation, was charged with multiple counts of grand theft more than USD 100,000 (EUR 89,000) and Yamir Gonzalez-Betancourt, assistant general manager, was charged with one count of grand theft more than USD 100,000, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
The owner of the fish house and three commercial fishermen contacted the sheriff’s office in early 2021 and stated the suspects were stealing money.
The sheriff’s investigation found that Armenteros had been putting thousands of commercial stone crab and lobster tags in her name as opposed to the names of the commercial fishermen, which prevented the fishermen from fishing legally and thereby profiting from their work.
“Further investigation showed Armenteros also placed a commercial fisherman’s boat in her name without his permission. The fish house also lost money due to the fishermen being unable to sell their product to the company,” the sheriff’s office said.
The case against Gonzalez-Betancourt involves a scam he was operating regarding the sale of lobsters to export buyers.
“He had the exporters buy the lobsters directly from him in cash and not the fish house. The investigation showed the fish house lost more than USD 100,000 due to Gonzalez-Betancourt’s actions,” the sheriff’s office said.
Armenteros is being held on USD 400,000 (EUR 354,000) bail, while Gonzalez-Betancourt is being held on USD 100,000 bail.
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