- Associated Press - Saturday, February 27, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - The owner of one of the largest commercial fishing businesses in the Northeast has been accused of violating federal fishing regulations.

Sixty-four-year-old Carlos Rafael, of Dartmouth, is charged with submitting falsified records to the federal government and conspiracy. His bookkeeper, 60-year-old Debra Messier, is also charged.

Prosecutors say Rafael, who owns Carlos Seafood, Inc., in New Bedford, lied to federal authorities for years about the quantity and species of fish his boats caught to evade federal quotas. Rafael sold the fish to a New York City business for cash.

Federal agents posing as organized crime figures interested in Rafael’s business uncovered the scheme.

Rafael is due in court Wednesday. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney.

Messier was released on $10,000 bond. The Boston Globe reports her lawyer wouldn’t comment.


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