Three members of a prominent Long Island seafood company, including two family members, are facing federal charges for allegedly conspiring to illegally harvest and sell fish caught above legal limits.
Bryan Gosman, age 48, Asa Gosman, age 45, of Montauk, members of the management team of Bob Gosman Co. Inc., and fisherman Christopher Winkler, age 61, were charged by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and obstruction in connection with a scheme to illegally overharvest fluke and black sea bass.
Specifically, the three were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as to unlawfully frustrate the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA), and obstruction.
Additionally, Winkler, also of Montauk, and the corporation face “substantive fraud charges,” prosecutors added. Both Gosmans and Bob Gosman Co. Inc., “acting through its agents and employees, were also charged with obstructing the investigation into these crimes by corruptly withholding certain documents and records sought by a federal grand jury.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, between May 2014 and July 2016, Winkler, as captain of the New Age, went on approximately 70 fishing trips where he caught fluke or black sea bass in excess of applicable quotas.
It is alleged those fish were then sold to a now-defunct company in the New Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx, where both Asa Gosman and Bryan Gosman had an ownership interest.
After the Bronx company went under, Winkler sold a smaller quantity of his illegal catch directly to Bob Gosman Co. Inc., a Montauk fish dealer in which the Gosmans had a management role.
Prosecutors said that the overages of fish included at least 74,000 pounds of fluke, and the overall over-quota fish (of all species) were valued at least $250,000 wholesale.
The indictment also alleges that the three also falsified documents that were sent to NOAA in an attempt to cover up the fact that the fish sold and purchased were taken in excess of mandated quotas.
Winkler, and both Gosmans, are scheduled to be arraigned at a later date in the Eastern District of New York.
Check back to Daily Voice for updates on the case.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.