Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fried Freitas

Little late for breakfast, isn't it?

"Sheriff’s deputy charged with smuggling money in ‘Codfather’ case" by Maria Sacchetti Globe Staff  May 09, 2016

A Bristol County sheriff’s deputy was arrested Monday and charged with smuggling thousands of dollars to Portugal for a New Bedford fishing mogul who was allegedly trying to hide his profits from illegal fish sales.

Federal officials allege that Antonio M. Freitas, who was also a member of a Homeland Security task force, used his security clearance at Logan International Airport to sneak cash overseas.

On Feb. 5, for instance, Freitas and his fiancee allegedly carried $17,500 in cash-filled bags past airport security and boarded a flight to Portugal. After he arrived, he allegedly deposited the money into a bank account owned by Carlos Rafael, a businessman called the “Codfather” because he presides over one of the biggest commercial fishing concerns in the United States.

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson called the indictment a “huge, huge disappointment” and said he would place Freitas on unpaid leave from his $57,000-a-year job.

“It came as a complete shock,” Hodgson said. “It’s a shocker for everybody that worked with him.”

Not here. This looks like SOP to me.

For the past 13 years, Freitas has been assigned full time to work on criminal investigations for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to the sheriff’s office. Overtime from the federal agency apparently boosted his income past $75,600 in 2014, records show.

Freitas appeared Monday in US District Court in Worcester and was released on $10,000 unsecured bond.

Also named in the complaint is Rafael, a 64-year-old Dartmouth resident who owns Carlos Seafood Inc. in New Bedford and 32 fishing vessels through independent corporate shells, according to court records. He was previously arrested in February. But on Monday he was indicted on 25 counts of falsifying documents, conspiracy, and bulk cash smuggling.

Federal investigators said they uncovered the alleged scheme by pretending to be organized crime figures interested in buying his business.

They were "pretending," huh?

Someone smarter than me once said the government is organized crime.

Authorities claim that Rafael lied to federal regulators about his fish hauls from 2012 to January.

Did he start a war over it?

Canadian plan for nuclear waste raises concern about Great Lakes

At least the fire is out.

Rafael allegedly claimed to have netted haddock or another common species when he was really harvesting cod, sole, or another fish restricted by fishing quotas.

His company would buy the fish — from the boats that he owns — at the lower price of haddock, but then sell the more lucrative fish for higher market prices to buyers in New York.

Rafael allegedly told undercover agents that he reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars through the scheme.

Authorities said Rafael stashed some profits from those sales in bank accounts in his native Portugal. 

I think that is what got him into trouble. If he had only kept it here.

And authorities said he tapped people such as Freitas, who had access to restricted areas of Logan Airport, to help him do it.

Prosecutors say Rafael spent part of the money on fixing his parents’ house, and his own, and bought a $100,000 pleasure boat. Rafael is a US citizen.

Freitas, who speaks Portuguese, is a decorated law enforcement officer who received a state honor....

They be taking that plate away from him.


Related: Survey delay might hurt fish population research

Skewed data from the government? 

You get used to the smell.

Globe is having lobster for lunch.

NDU: A celestial show for the Northeast, Canada