Federal prosecutors in New Orleans announced that a Louisiana seafood processing plant and an Illinois seafood distributor have each been charged with one count of mislabeling over $100,000 worth of commercially-sold shrimp.
The firms are charged with a felony violation of the Lacey Act, prosecutors said in a news release.
Doran Sea-Pak LLC, of Independence, La., was accused of distributing Mexican-caught shrimp as being U.S. caught. Prosecutors say the mislabeled shrimp were then sent to Worldwide Shrimp Co., a wholesale distributor in Highland Park, Ill., and other distributors who sold them.
The release says Worldwide distributed shrimp to supermarkets, retail stores, and other wholesale seafood providers throughout the United States under one of four brand names: “Shrimp King,” “Texas Supreme,” “Black Diamond,” and “Campeche Queen.”
The bill of information says Doran mislabeled the shrimp at Worldwide’s direction on at least four occasions between November 2007 and December 2008. The release says both Worldwide and Doran were aware that the shrimp was of Mexican origin.
Debbie Peirce, the in-house attorney for Doran, said they had no comment. Worldwide vice president Bill Applebaum said they would comment later.
If convicted, the companies face possible fines of $500,000.
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