New Bedford fishing mogul charged after undercover investigation

Federal officials arrested on Friday the owner of one the largest commercial fishing businesses in the northeastern United States after uncovering an alleged scheme in which he misrepresented and underreported his hauls, then sold truckloads of fish for cash.


Carlos A. Rafael, 64, the owner of Carlos Seafood Inc. with over 40 fishing vessels ported in New Bedford and Gloucester, and his bookkeeper Debra Messier, 60, were charged with conspiracy and submitting falsified records to the federal government. “The charges arose out of an undercover investigation in which federal agents posed as organized crime figures interested in buying the fishing business,” United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said in a statement.

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