A U.S. fishing magnate known as "The Codfather" has pleaded guilty to federal charges of evading fishing quotas and smuggling money to Portugal.
Carlos Rafael changed his plea to guilty Thursday during a hearing in federal court in Boston. Rafael is the owner of one of the nation's largest commercial fishing operations. It includes a fleet of more than 30 vessels, 44 commercial fishing permits and the Carlos Seafood business in New Bedford.
Federal authorities say Rafael falsely claimed his vessels caught haddock or pollock, when they had actually caught other species subject to stricter quotas. He then sold the fish for cash, some of which was smuggled overseas.
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He was indicted on 27 counts last May and is free on $2 million bond.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 27.