Carlos Rafael to plead guilty to quota evasion, money smuggling
Carlos Rafael, owner of Carlos Seafoods – the largest commercial fishing business in New England – is scheduled to plead guilty to evading fishing quotas and smuggling profits to Portugal on 16
Rafael – who was originally slated to appear in court on 20 March regarding charges related to a fishing scheme allegedly stemming from his New Bedford, Massachusetts-based company – will plead guilty to quota evasion and money smuggling in U.S. District Court in Boston at 2 p.m. next Thursday as part of a plea deal he reached with the government. The U.S. attorney’s office issued a tweet on 8 March detailing the new development in the
After his arrest on 26
Rafael sold a high volume of his fish to a wholesale business in New York in exchange for bags of cash, investigators claimed.
"During meetings with the undercover agents, Rafael allegedly said that in his most recent dealings with the New York buyer he received USD 668,000 (EUR 631,050) in cash," the U.S. Attorney's Office said, as reported by Mass Live.
Debra Messier, the bookkeeper for Carlos Seafoods, had faced charges alongside Rafael initially, but those charges were dropped in July 2016. Bristol County Sheriff’s Deputy Antonio Freitas was also charged in association with the scheme, specifically for allegedly smuggling and structuring the export of U.S. currency as a means to bring cash through restricted areas of Boston's Logan International Airport; Freitas case is currently being tried in federal court.
Initial proceedings had both Freitas and Rafael being tried together, however, a U.S. District Court judge severed the cases after separate motions were filed by each defendant's respective legal teams in November 2016,
More information regarding the progression of the case can be found below:
- Carlos Rafael trial moved to later date
- Carlos Rafael case update: Charges dropped against bookkeeper
Rafael givenan extended curfew to keep business afloat this summer
- Prosecutors granted extension in Carlos Rafael case
- Carlos Rafael court documents released
- Carlos Rafael of Carlos Seafood released from jail on $1 million bond
- IRS undercover operation leads to tax fraud charges against Carlos Rafael of Carlos Seafoods