Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fisherman to forfeit boat, faces jail

Vanessa Blum reports here:

In a last minute deal with prosecutors, the owner of a South Florida charter fishing business pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to violating environmental laws by not reporting sailfish reeled in by customers and by killing undersized fish.Prosecutors accused Stanley Saffan, 57, and four employees of coercing anglers to have the illegally caught sailfish mounted by a Broward taxidermy firm in exchange for commissions.The group used high-pressure sales tactics to steer business to Gray Taxidermy Inc. of Pompano Beach, often claiming that because a fish already had been killed it should be made into a trophy, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Watts-Fitzgerald, who is handling the case.
A Fort Lauderdale grand jury indicted Saffan and his crew in July on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, obstruction of justice and violating wildlife protection laws.The case had been set for trial Wednesday, but the sides agreed on a deal Tuesday afternoon that dropped the government's most serious charges, said attorney Herbert Cohen, who represents Saffan.

So what are the consequences for something like this:

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Saffan faces up to 10 years in prison. He must forfeit a 45-foot vessel and pay the government 125 percent the appraised value of a 54-foot vessel. Both boats are named Therapy IV.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The whole thing smells fishy to me.