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Press Release

Florida Keys Lobster Company and President Sentenced in Federal Court for Exporting Falsely-Labeled Products

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

MIAMI – Aifa Seafood, Inc., (Aifa), a Florida company operating in Florida City, and company president Jiu Fa Chen, 57, of Parkland, were sentenced today after pleading guilty earlier this year to exporting falsely-labeled spiny lobster from Florida to China.  

From May through August 2019, Aifa purchased seafood products for export to China.  To meet the high demand for spiny lobster, Aifa imported lobster from Haiti for reexport to China. Aifa reexported approximately 5,900 pounds of lobster and falsely labeled the product in shipping documents as “Live Florida Spiny Lobsters, Product of U.S.A.”

U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno imposed the following sentences. AIFA must pay a fine of $250,000, with $150,000 payable immediately and the balance by the end of this year. AIFA also must serve five years of probation, establish and implement a compliance plan, retain a compliance officer to be approved by the Court, and submit to a complete audit of its books and records by a court-approved third-party auditor. Chen must immediately pay a $100,000 fine and serve five years of probation, subject to the same terms as AIFA. Both fines are payable to the NOAA Lacey Act Fund.

U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, Assistant Director Manny Antonaras of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Southeast Division, Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael E. Buckley, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami, and the Statewide Investigations Section of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Division of Law Enforcement, announced the sentences.

NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, HSI Key Largo, and FWC Division of Law Enforcement investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Watts-FitzGerald prosecuted the case.

If you have any information regarding wildlife crimes, you may contact the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement Hotline: (800) 853-1964 and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-9453. Locally, environmental crimes, including wildlife violations and environmental justice matters may be reported to the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 305-961-9001 or .

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at under case number 22-cr-20479.



Public Affairs Unit

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Southern District of Florida

Updated May 24, 2023

Environmental Justice