CRESSKILL, N.J., Jan. 20 (UPI) -- The chief executive of a New Jersey seafood firm pleaded guilty Wednesday to evading $60 million in U.S. tariffs by mislabeling fish imported from Vietnam.
The U.S. Justice Department said in a release Sterling Seafood Corp. Chief Executive Officer Thomas George pleaded guilty before a U.S. magistrate to importing falsely labeled goods into the United States and selling falsely labeled fish in the United States with the intent to defraud.
George, 61, of Old Tappan, N.J., is to be sentenced April 28.
George admitted that from 2004 to 2006 he evaded an anti-dumping tariff imposed on imported Vietnamese catfish by having it labeled as grouper, which was not subject to the special duties. By doing so, he said, Sterling Seafood avoided more than $60 million in anti-dumping tariffs.
George also admitted that from 2004 to 2005 he bought more than $500,000 of similarly misbranded fish imported by a Virginia firm from Vietnam and then sold that fish in the United States.