Fla. packer accused of mislabeling shrimp
Richard Stowell, owner of United Shrimp Co. in St. Petersburg, Fla., has been charged with fraudulently re-branding and repacking shrimp to disguise the product’s country of origin.
If convicted, Stowell faces a maximum penalty of up to five years in jail and fines of up to USD 20,000 on each of the 24 criminal counts. United Seafood Imports would face fines of up to USD 500,000 per count.
This comes after South Florida packer Shifco and its president, Mark Platt, pleaded guilty to Lacey Act and mislabeling violations involving salmon and shrimp last month.
At the direction of Stowell, Shifco relabeled and repacked shrimp from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia as shrimp from Ecuador and Panama. Shifco has admitted to packing more than 1 million pounds of shrimp.