Carlos Rafael case update: Charges dropped against bookkeeper

Published on
July 26, 2016

Prosecutors involved in the Carlos Rafael investigation in New Bedford, Massachusetts have moved to drop charges against the seafood magnate’s bookkeeper, according to a report from SouthCoast Today.

Debra Messier was arrested on 26 February, 2016, along with Carlos Rafael, her boss at Carlos Seafood, following an investigation that alleges the two were involved in a massive illegal fishing scheme. Messier was charged with conspiracy and submitting falsified records to the government but prosecutors moved on Monday, 25 July to drop the charges “in the interests of justice,” the news site reported.

Rafael still faces charges in the case, as does Antonio Freitas, an officer in the Bristol County Sheriff’s Department, who was arrested and charged with smuggling and structuring the export of U.S. currency for allegedly bringing cash through restricted areas of Boston's Logan International Airport, and aiding Rafael in funneling profits from the scheme to Portugal.

Rafael’s trial is scheduled for January 2017 in the U.S. District Court in Boston. He faces 27 charges of conspiracy, false entry and bulk cash smuggling.

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