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The Department of Justice reports that a Virginia man has been sentenced to 45 months in prison and a $15,000 fine for his role in conspiring to falsely label millions of dollars’ worth of foreign crab meat as “Product of USA.”
A DOJ press release states that the man admitted to substituting crab meat from Indonesia, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and other foreign locations when a significant decline in Atlantic blue crab harvests made it increasingly difficult to fulfill customer orders profitably. Company employees removed more than 183 tons of foreign crab meat from cans and plastic bags and repackaged it into plastic containers labeled “product of USA.” In addition, the DOJ states, the company reconditioned foreign crab meat that was approaching or beyond its posted “best used by” dates by re-pasteurizing it and packaging it into cups labeled and sold as blue crab and “product of USA.”