National Fisherman


A former FBI director investigating alleged misconduct inside the settlement program for compensating victims of BP's 2010 Gulf oil spill has concluded that a claimant at the center of the investigation was awarded more than $357,000 based on fraudulent information.
 
In a court filing late Wednesday (Jan. 8), Louis Freeh recommended that a federal judge rescind the award to Casey C. Thonn and order any lawyer who profited from the settlement to pay restitution.
 
"In filing claims with the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center, Mr. Thonn presented false information and documents, including tax 'returns' that in fact had never been filed with the Internal Revenue Service," the filing said.
 
The claims center paid Thonn the money "based upon these false documents and Mr. Thonn's misrepresentation of his 2009 shrimping income," the filing said.
 
Freeh asked the court to order Thonn and any lawyers who benefited to pay back the money they received.
 
Read the full story at the Times-Picayune>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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