fuglvog pleads guilty to making false statements in individual fishing quota reports
Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today, August 11, 2011, that Arne Fuglvog of Washington, DC, pled guilty in federal court in Anchorage to one count of making false statements in Individual Fishing Quota reports to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) regarding where he caught fish that were then sold in interstate commerce.
The one-count information named Fuglvog, 47, as the sole defendant. Fuglvog pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement that sets out a factual basis as follows:
From 2001 to 2006, Fuglvog, was the owner and operator of the Fishing Vessel (F/V) Kamilar. Fuglvog had permits to fish in the Gulf of Alaska for sablefish and halibut. On several occasions between 2001 and 2006, Fuglvog fished in one regulatory area and then falsely reported that the fish were caught in a different regulatory area.
Specifically, in 2005, Fuglvog had an Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) permit for sablefish in the statistical area designated as “Western Yakatat.” Fuglvog’s permit allowed him to catch approximately 30,000 pounds of sablefish in the Western Yakatat area in 2005. Fuglvog actually caught approximately 63,000 pounds of sablefish in the Western Yakatat area in 2005. Fuglvog covered up his illegal fishing by submitting false statements when he landed the fish indicating that over 30,000 pounds of sablefish were caught in the statistical area designated as “Central Gulf,” when in fact the fish were caught in the Western Yakatat area. The fish that Fuglvog falsified the landing reports for regarding where they were caught were then transported in interstate commerce.
The approximate value of the fish caught and landed by Fuglvog in 2005, for which Fuglvog provided a false location in the landing report, was approximately $100,000.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Aunnie Steward, the law provides for a maximum total sentence of one year in prison, a fine of $100,000, or both. Under the federal sentencing statutes, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pursuant to plea agreement, Fuglvog has agreed to a sentence of 10 months in prison, a $50,000 fine and a $100,000 community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the purpose of enhancing fisheries habitat in the coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska.
The Office of Law Enforcement for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.