Massachusetts seafood wholesaler raided by federal agents
Agents representing various federal offices within the United States, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), conducted a raid on New Bedford, Massachusetts-based seafood wholesaler Lou-Joe’s Fresh Seafood on Thursday, 22 June.
Work was halted at the company’s 3,800-square-foot plant on Thursday by roughly a dozen investigators from the IRS Criminal Investigations unit, the Massachusetts Environmental Police and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. According to recent reports from South Coast Today and WBSM News, the reasons and much of the details surrounding the raid remain undisclosed at this time.
IRS officials did disclose to reporters that they were dispatched on official business in relation to an ongoing investigation. As of Friday, 23 June, business at the wholesaler's plant seemed to be back up and running, according to South Coast Today.
The Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin’s office filed corporate documents listing Luis Martins and Mary Martins as the president/treasurer and secretary respectively of a now-dissolved corporation under the name of Lou-Joe’s Fresh Seafood, Inc, South Coast Today reported. The secretary of state’s website states that the corporation underwent involuntary dissolution in 1998, which occurred after the business failed to file annual reports after 1990, Laurie Flynn, director of corporations for Galvin, told South Coast Today. However, according to Flynn, it is not illegal to operate without corporate status as long as “Inc.” is not included in the company’s name – Lou-Joe’s could legally be existing as a sole proprietorship or partnership, she said to the newspaper.
New Bedford has also been the site of another seafood business investigation this year, with Carlos Seafood owner Carlos Rafael recently pleading guilty to tax evasion, falsifying fish quotas, and conspiracy.