News and Press Releases

Two Tampa Corporations and Four Tampa Residents Indicted in Scheme to Unlawfully Sell an Unregistered Pesticide and Obstruct Justice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2014

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Maureen O’Mara, Special Agent in Charge, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID), Michael A. Hill, Special Agent in Charge, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Inspector General (EPA-OIG), Atlanta Field Office, and Colonel/Director Calvin Adams, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Division of Law Enforcement (FWCC), announce the filing of an 11-count indictment charging New Nautical Coatings, Inc., d/b/aSea Hawk Paints,” Sea Hawk Refinish Line, Inc., d/b/aRefinish Line Auto Supplies,” of Clearwater, Florida, and Hillsborough County residents Erik Norrie, David Norrie, Jason Revie, and Tommy Craft, in a scheme to unlawfully sell an unregistered pesticide and obstruct justice.

David Norrie, Jason Revie, and Tommy Craft had their initial appearances on February 11, 2013, in Tampa before U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli. Erik Norrie is expected to make his initial this week in Tampa before U.S. Magistrate Judge Porcelli.

Specifically, each defendant is charged with one count of conspiracy to (1) impede, impair, obstruct, and defeat the lawful functions of the EPA; (2) sell an unregistered pesticide; (3) violate an EPA cancellation order; and (4) obstruct justice, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and a separate conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349. New Nautical Coatings, Refinish Line, David Norrie, Erik Norrie and Jason Revie are also charged with one count of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, and one count of misuse of a government seal, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1017. New Nautical Coatings and David Norrie are also charged with one count of obstruction of justice, and New Nautical Coatings and Erik Norrie are charged with two other counts of obstructing justice, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512(b)(3). New Nautical Coatings, David Norrie, Erik Norrie, Jason Revie, and Tommy Craft are also charged with four counts of the sale of an unregistered pesticide, in violation of Title 7, United States Code, Section 136j(a)(1)(A).

According to the indictment, New Nautical manufactured a paint called Biocop Anti-Fouling Coating which contained tributyltin methacrylate, also known as “TBT,” a chemical compound which was found to have significant harmful effects on marine life. TBT based paints such as Biocop are pesticides subject to registration with the EPA. On or about December 1, 2005, the EPA cancelled New Nautical’s registration for Biocop, making it unlawful for New Nautical to manufacture Biocop for sale in the United States after December 1, 2005, or sell Biocop in the United States after December 31, 2005. Despite the cancellation, New Nautical Coatings, through defendants David Norrie, Erik Norrie Jason Revie, Tommy Craft and others continued to manufacture and sell Biocop in the United States. In order to manufacture and sell Biocop after the cancellation date, New Nautical Coatings, through defendants David Norrie, Erik Norrie, Jason Revie, Tommy Craft, and others, misled their customers and the EPA regarding their continued production of Biocop after the cancellation date. In furtherance of the conspiracy, the defendants took steps to make it falsely and fraudulently appear that New Nautical had earmarked and sold significant amounts of Biocop to distributors prior to December 31, 2005. In truth, the supposedly allocated Biocop had not been manufactured by December 1, 2005, and did not exist to be sold by December 31, 2005. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Refinish Line, David Norrie, Erik Norrie, and Jason Revie created and caused to be created false and fraudulent purchase orders and invoices for orders of Biocop that Refinish Line did not sell, distribute, or ship to the customers and companies listed in the purchase orders and invoices. New Nautical, David Norrie, and Erik Norrie took other steps to conceal the unlawful production and sale of Biocop, including the falsification of reports submitted to the EPA and directing a witness to lie to the EPA. By producing and selling Biocop, an unregistered pesticide, for domestic use and application, and by concealing such acts from the EPA and customers, New Nautical, Refinish Line and their co-conspirators derived pecuniary gains in excess of $2,000,000.

If convicted, the corporate defendants, New Nautical Coatings, Inc. and Sea Hawk Refinish Line, Inc., face a fine of up to $500,000 for each felony conviction, and a fine of $200,000 for each misdemeanor conviction. If convicted, the individual defendants face up to five years in prison for each count of conspiracy to defraud the government, up to twenty years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice, up to five years in prison for each count of the misuse of a government seal, and up to one year in prison for each count of the sale of an unregistered pesticide.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of EPA-CID, EPA-OIG, and FWCC. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alejandro O. Soto.

An indictment is only an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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