PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The owner of a Maine seafood company has pleaded guilty to instructing an employee to make cash withdrawals to avoid Treasury Department reporting requirements, money used to bypass lobster coop purchasing rules.
The Portland Press Herald, reports that John Price, owner of J.P.’s Shellfish in Eliot, pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday to 12 counts of structuring cash transactions.
Prosecutors say the 58-year-old Kittery man had an office manager make bank withdrawals from 2008 to 2010 for less than $10,000 to avoid detection.
Employees then used the cash to pay a dock worker at the Spruce Head Fisherman’s Coop in South Thomaston for lobsters. The dock worker’s side transactions were made without Coop approval.
Price remains free on $10,000 bail pending sentencing in May. His lawyer refused comment.