A Tybee Island, Ga., fisherman was sentenced to more than six years in federal prison on Aug. 30 for making fraudulent claims for losses from foreign competition, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Georgia.
Michael Brian Anderson was convicted by a federal jury on March 22 for three counts of false statements, four counts of mail fraud, and two counts of money laundering.
U.S. District Senior Judge William T. Moore Jr. imposed the sentence, ordering Anderson to 77 months in prison and $818,234 in restitution.
During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Anderson submitted multiple false claims to Customs & Border Protection, seeking millions of dollars in subsidies under the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000.That bill allowed American shrimp producers to apply for federal funding to reimburse income they lost as a result of foreign competition.
Anderson, an eligible domestic shrimper, applied for subsidies based on the claim that his shrimping business expenses from 2005 to 2007 were more than $24 million — a claim refuted during his trial and further debunked by Anderson’s own bank records and tax returns. The U.S. government paid Anderson more than $800,000 to which he was not entitled.
“Brian Anderson submitted millions of dollars in inflated invoices for one simple reason: greed,” said U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine. “By overinflating the amount he was entitled to receive under the CDSOA, Brian Anderson diverted money from hard-working shrimpers into his own pocket.”