Gosmans Pleads Guilty, Will Pay $ 50,000 in Fish Fraud Case
Bryan Gosman and Asa Gosman, part owners of Bob Gosman Co. in Montauk, New York, USA, pleaded guilty in federal court to fishing fraud.
Gosman Co. will also pay a fine of $ 50,000 (EUR 44,000) and serve a probation sentence for four years.
The Gosmans were involved in a scheme to illegally buy winter flounder and black bass from a local fisherman, according to a press release from the US Department of Justice.
In April 2021, a the federal grand jury indicted Christopher Winkler, Bryan Gosman, Asa Gosman and Bob Gosman Co. Inc. with a count of conspiracy, among other crimes. The indictment charged with a conspiracy to commit mail and electronic fraud as well as illegally thwarting the efforts of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to regulate federal fisheries. Originally, both Gosmans pleaded not guilty.
The indictment alleges that between May 2014 and July 2016, Winkler, as captain of the New Age, has made dozens of fishing trips during which he caught fluke or black bass in excess of the applicable quotas. Bryan and Asa Gosman admitted that this fish was later sold to a now-defunct company, an unindicted co-conspirator, at the New Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx, New York. After the company closed, Bryan and Asa Gosman argue that Winkler sold a much smaller amount of his illegal catch directly to Bob Gosman Co. The Gosmans admitted that sales of illegal fish (to both companies) amounted to at least 240,000 USD (213,000 EUR) wholesale.
According to the Justice Department, the Gosmans admitted to falsifying reports from vessels and concessionaires to cover up the fact that the fish were caught in excess of quotas.
“The couple also admitted to obstructing the NOAA’s investigation into the plot by jointly destroying incriminated business records that Bryan Gosman removed from the now defunct Bronx company in March 2017,” the Department of Justice said.
The Gosmans sentencing hearings will be set at a later date and Winkler’s trial has yet to be scheduled.
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