NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say aMassachusettsfishing magnate known as “The Codfather” has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges of evading fishing quotas and smuggling money to Portugal.
The U.S. attorney’s office said Wednesday that Carlos Rafael has a change of plea hearing scheduled for March 16.
No additional details were disclosed.
Rafael is the owner of one of the nation’s largest commercial fishing operations, with more than 30 vessels in his fleet, 44 commercial fishing permits and the Carlos Seafood business in New Bedford.
Federal authorities say he falsely claimed his vessels caught haddock or pollock, when they had actually caught other species subject to stricter quotes. He then sold the fish for cash, some of which was smuggled overseas.
His lawyer did not return a call for comment.