New Bedford Scalloper Larry Yacubian's business and personal life devastated by NOAA's 'bad actors'; Report says Federal agent dissuaded State agent from testifying as defense witness
Among the 13 cases of justice miscarried against the New England fishing industry — and linked in the report of a special investigative master that prompted a Cabinet level apology Tuesday — one involved was the ruination of a scalloping business of Lawrence Yucabian.
According to the detailed — but redacted — findings of Master Charles Swartwood III, were multiple affronts to the American justice system that laid Yucabian low, costing him his boat, business, home and place in the New Bedford fishing community.
In his own 15-page statement released Tuesday, U.S. Commerce Secretary
Gary Locke wrote that these cases did not reflect “individual bad acts,”
warranting disciplining anyone, but were byproducts of lax supervision
and oversight. Yet, as delineated by Swartwood, a retired federal judge who heads the
Massachusetts Ethics Commission in a report made public Tuesday after
Locke and NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco issued their apology, NOAA
enforcement’s acts against Yucabian included:
Pressuring a witness against testifying.
The appearance and possibly a true conflict of interest between an
administrative law judge and NOAA litigators from the Gloucester office;
Willful flouting of findings by a U.S. District Court judge by the lower administrative law judge;
The “extraction” from Yucabian of excessive “oppressive” fines by a NOAA litigator; and,
An improper motive for the entire set of actions — “money," with
$430,000 in fines funneled to the corrupted Asset Forfeiture Fund,
through which passed to $100 million over 4 1/2 years, allowing agents
and ligitators to operate with some of the best vehicles and junkets in
the federal system.
Read the complete story from The Gloucester Times.