'Codfather' wins sentencing delay

Carlos Rafael

The sentencing of New Bedford fishing mogul Carlos Rafael has been moved off another month and he now is expected to hear his fate on July 28 in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Rafael, who pleaded guilty in late March to falsifying fish quotas, conspiracy and tax evasion, requested the extension. He said he needs more time gather and provide the relevant — and voluminous — financial records that are the center of the federal government's case against him.

Rafael, 65, initially was set to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young on June 27.

"The short continuance requested in this motion will allow Mr. Rafael to complete this process such that the information can be presented in the pre-sentence report and considered at sentencing," William H. Kettlewell, Rafael's attorney, wrote in his motion for the extension.

Prosecutors did not oppose the extension.

Under his plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Rafael may have to surrender up to 13 of his groundfishing vessels and must pay almost $109,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Rafael, known throughout New England as the "Codfather" because of his vast vessel and permit holdings, could face up to 76 months in prison on the three charges — far less than the up to 20 years he would have faced under the original 27-count indictment.

Federal prosecutors have recommended a prison sentence of 46 months and a significant period of supervised release.

Rafael, arrested Feb. 26, 2016, was indicted on one count of conspiracy, 25 counts of lying to federal fishing regulators and one count of bulk smuggling after he was nabbed in a federal undercover sting operation.

Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or shorgan@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT

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