The Department of Justice announced the sentencing of Walter Schoepf and Karl Degiacomi, on violations of Lacey Act for mislabeling shrimp. Culinary Specialties, the company that Mr. Schoefp and Mr. Degiacomi own, was also sentenced for conspiracy to commit violations of the Lacey Act and the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act. Mr. Schoepf and Mr. Degiacomi were each sentenced to one year probation and Culinary Specialties was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
The Lacey Act makes it unlawful for a person to falsely identify any fish that has been, or is intended to be, imported, sold, purchased, or received from any foreign country or transported in interstate or foreign commerce. The Food Drug and Cosmetic Act prohibits the alteration or removal of the whole or any part of the labeling of food, if such act is done while such article is held for sale after shipment in interstate commerce.
According to court documents, Mr. Schoepf and Mr. Degiacomi, owners of Culinary Specialties, conspired with Richard Stowell, United Seafood, Inc., Adrian Vela, and Sea Food Center, to mislabel and sell approximately 500,000 pounds of shrimp valued at more than $400,000. The mislabeled shrimp was ultimately sold to supermarkets in the northeastern United States.