This week, it was announced that a local Tybee Island shrimper and fisherman had been convicted by a federal jury on three counts of false statements, two counts of money laundering and four counts of mail fraud. Michael Brian Anderson was found guilty after a three-day trial. Evidence presented at trial showed that Brian Anderson submitted multiple false claims to Customs and Border Protection seeking millions of dollars in subsidies under the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000.
The act is designed to protect American shrimp producers by imposing anti-dumping taxes on foreign producers and permitting domestic shrimpers to apply for the money they would have made, if it wasn’t for unfair foreign competition. Brian Anderson was an eligible domestic shrimper. He completed and mailed multiple false certifications to CBP claiming that his shrimping business expenses for the years 2005 through 2007 were more than $24 million.
The defendant claimed that he spent most of his money on the purchase of 3.9 million pounds of raw shrimp from R&R Seafood. However, evidence proved that the small seafood store on Tybee Island never sold anywhere near that amount of shrimp during its time in business. The defendant’s bank records and tax returns also debunked his claim. As a result of Anderson’s fraud, the United States government paid Anderson more than $800,000 to which he was not entitled.
The defendant used those proceeds to purchase boats, stocks and property. Further details can be found here.