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Date: 05-26-2023

Case Style:

United States of America v. Jiu Fa Chen and Aifa Seafood, Inc.

Case Number: 22-cr-20479

Judge: Not available

Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Miami-Dade County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Miami

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description: Miami, Florida criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with exporting falsely-labeled spiny lobster from Florida to China.

From May through August 2019, Aifa purchased seafood products for export to China. To meet the high demand for spiny lobster, Aifa imported lobster from Haiti for reexport to China. Aifa reexported approximately 5,900 pounds of lobster and falsely labeled the product in shipping documents as “Live Florida Spiny Lobsters, Product of U.S.A.”

U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno imposed the following sentences. AIFA must pay a fine of $250,000, with $150,000 payable immediately and the balance by the end of this year. AIFA also must serve five years of probation, establish and implement a compliance plan, retain a compliance officer to be approved by the Court, and submit to a complete audit of its books and records by a court-approved third-party auditor. Chen must immediately pay a $100,000 fine and serve five years of probation, subject to the same terms as AIFA. Both fines are payable to the NOAA Lacey Act Fund.

U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, Assistant Director Manny Antonaras of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Southeast Division, Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael E. Buckley, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami, and the Statewide Investigations Section of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Division of Law Enforcement, announced the sentences.

NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, HSI Key Largo, and FWC Division of Law Enforcement investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Watts-FitzGerald prosecuted the case.


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