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$100,000 Criminal Fine for Falsely Labeling Imported Shrimp

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

A North Carolina-based seafood processor and wholesale distributor has been sentenced to a $100,000 criminal fine for falsely labeling imported shrimp, the Justice Department reports. The company will also forfeit approximately 21,450 pounds of shrimp and serve three years of probation, including a special condition requiring it to implement a training program to educate its employees on federal labeling requirements as they relate to the company’s business activities. 

Federal regulations require seafood retailers to provide customers with notice of the country of origin and the method of production (wild-caught or farm-raised) of shrimp and other shellfish. Shrimp may be labeled as “product of the United States” only if they were harvested and processed in the U.S. or by a U.S.-flagged vessel and have not undergone any substantial transformation outside the U.S.

In this case, the company pleaded guilty to one felony count of making or submitting false records after directing its own employees and those of another seafood processing facility to falsely label approximately 25,000 pounds of farm-raised imported shrimp as wild-caught product of the United States. 

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