The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that Michael Casey, vice president of Casey’s Seafood Inc., has pleaded guilty to charges of falsely labeling almost 400,000 pounds of crab meat as derived from Atlantic blue crab in the United States despite importing the meat from a number of countries, including Indonesia, China, Thailand and Vietnam. Casey’s guilty plea comes after a conviction for his father on similar charges. The foreign crab meat, which the company reportedly repacked into containers labeled “Product of USA,” had a wholesale value of approximately $4,324,916.

“U.S. consumers expect the origin of their seafood to be correctly identified. When sellers attempt to deceive the public about their product’s origins, they put the public’s health at risk by introducing seafood of unknown origin,” a DOJ investigator is quoted as saying in an agency press release. “When sellers are deceptive about their products’ origins, they deprive the public of important information about their purchasing decisions. We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who put profits above fair dealing.”

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.