CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CN) - A Brooklyn man who schemed with a commercial fisherman to underreport their overtake of summer flounder was sentenced to four months for wire fraud by sidestepping a federal research program.
Alan Dresner pleaded guilty in April to one count of wire fraud. He defrauded the United States of 246,376 of overharvested and underreported fluke, valued at $510,000. Dresner personally falsified reports on his Internet submissions for at least 120 fisheries' dealer reports from 2009 to 2012, the Department of Justice said.
He will do 4 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
He also was fined $6,000 and ordered to make a $15,000 community service payment to the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County for its Marine Meadows Program. The money will enhance fluke habitat in the waters off Long Island.
"Dresner was held accountable for his role in defrauding a federal research program, a program whose purpose is to help ensure the long-term sustainability of Long Island's fisheries," Acting Assistant Attorney General Sam Hirsch said Wednesday after the sentencing.
As a federal fish dealer, Dresner had a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration permit to buy fish directly from commercial boats without having to buy down-market.
He learned in July 2009 that the captain of the Stirs One, Anthony Joseph, was overharvesting fluke, and began making regular purchases of the illegal fish from the docks at Point Lookout, N.Y.
To hide scheme, Joseph mailed falsified fishing logs to the NOAA, and schemed with Dresner to file at least 120 false dealer reports.
Joseph pleaded guilty to wire fraud and other charges in April; he's set for sentencing in May 2015.
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