Skip to main content
Press Release

Ossipee Man fined and Placed on Probation for Providing False Information in an Effort to Obtain Fishery Disaster Relief Funds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Hampshire

            CONCORD – Dave Bardzik, 56, of Ossipee, was sentenced to 18 months of probation and fined $2,500 for making a false statement in an effort to obtain fishery disaster relief funds, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.

             In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated the Atlantic coast of the United States.  In addition to causing widespread property damage, the storm had substantial impacts on the New England fishing industry.   Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Secretary of Commerce declared a fishery disaster and Congress approved fishery disaster relief funds.  Operators of both commercial and “for hire” vessels in New Hampshire were provided information about how to apply for a share of those funds.  Required criteria included that “for hire” vessels, like Bardzik’s, must have taken at least 15 trips in three of the previous four years in which at least one New England groundfish species was harvested.

            According to court documents and statements made in court, Bardzik submitted several false and/or altered records to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in June 2015 in an attempt to qualify for the allotted funds.   Investigators immediately noted discrepancies between the June 2015 submission and the previous, contemporaneous records Bardzik had completed in 2013.  When confronted by investigators, Bardzik admitted that he created the false and/or altered records because he would otherwise not have qualified for funds.   

            Bardzik previously pled guilty on October, 30, 2018.

            “When the federal government spends money for disaster relief, the funds should only go to those who have been true victims of the disaster,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “Those who seek to cheat the system should understand that there will be substantial consequences for their criminal conduct.”

            “This is a real win for the commercial fisherman of New Hampshire,” said Lieutenant Michael Eastman, District Chief of the Seacoast region for New Hampshire Fish and Game. “This investigation was a cooperative effort between New Hampshire Fish and Game and NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, and shows the importance of the Joint Enforcement Agreement outside of the daily dockside enforcement.”

            This matter was investigated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement with assistance from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.    The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles L. Rombeau.


Updated February 5, 2019

Press Release Number: 19-010