The stunning arrest of New Bedford fishing mogul Carlos Rafael last Friday on federal conspiracy and fraud charges may have a Gloucester connection.
The affidavit submitted in support of the federal criminal complaint against Rafael and bookkeeper Debra Messier by Internal Revenue Service Special Agent Ronald Mullett, one of the undercover operatives involved in stinging Rafael, includes an oblique reference to Gloucester.
The reference takes place in a quote attributed to a New York man that federal investigators allege to be the wholesale buyer of Rafael’s illicit, off-the-books fish. The man initially is referred to only as “Michael,” but later in the affidavit also is called “Perretti.”
The reference, according to the 18-page document filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, occurs during a Jan. 20 meeting in a New York City restaurant between federal undercover agents — posing as prospective buyers of Rafael’s far-flung network of fishing businesses along the New Bedford waterfront — and the man referred to as “Michael.”
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