Gosmans plead guilty, will pay USD 50,000 in fish fraud case
Bryan Gosman and Asa Gosman, partial owners of Bob Gosman Co. in Montauk, New York, U.S.A., pleaded guilty in federal court to fishing fraud charges.
Gosman Co. will also pay a fine of USD 50,000 (EUR 44,000) and serve probation for four years.
The Gosmans took part in a scheme to purchase illegal summer flounder and black sea bass from a local fisherman, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.
In April 2021, a federal grand jury indicted Christopher Winkler, Bryan Gosman, Asa Gosman and Bob Gosman Co. Inc. with one count of conspiracy, among other crimes. The indictment charged a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as to unlawfully frustrate the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) efforts at regulating federal fisheries. Originally, both Gosmans pleaded not guity.
The indictment alleges that between May 2014 and July 2016, Winkler, as captain of the New Age, went on dozens of fishing trips in which he caught fluke or black sea bass in excess of applicable quotas. Bryan and Asa Gosman admitted that this fish was then sold to a now-defunct company, an unindicted co-conspirator, in the New Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx, New York. After the company folded, Bryan and Asa Gosman contend that Winkler sold a much smaller quantity of his illegal catch directly to Bob Gosman Co. The Gosmans admitted that the sales of illegal fish (to both companies) totaled at least USD 240,000 (EUR 213,000) wholesale.
The Gosmans admitted falsifying both vessel and dealer reports to cover up the fact that fish were taken in excess of quotas, according to the Justice Department.
“The pair also admitted to obstructing NOAA’s investigation into the conspiracy through the joint destruction of incriminating business records that Bryan Gosman had removed from the defunct Bronx company in March 2017,” the Justice Department said.
Sentencing hearings for the Gosmans will be set at a future date and Winkler’s trial is yet to be scheduled.
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