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Showing posts from February, 2015

Maritime Law--SCOTUS Rules Fish Not Tangible Object Under Sarbanes-Oxley

Can a law written to punish the "Enrons" of the world for shredding or doing away with records also be used to convict a Florida fisherman who tossed his undersized catch into the sea in an effort to avoid penalties? This was a question I asked in my blog back in July 12, 2014 Can Fisherman's Case Recast Sarbanes-Oxley?



The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled "no". The question before the U.S. Supreme Court was whether fish are deemed by the government to be a “tangible object”, such that if destroyed with the intent to obstruct an investigation, it would be a crime.   As background, while inspecting a commercial fishing vessel in the Gulf of Mexico, a federal agent found that the catch contained undersized red grouper, in violation of conservation regulations, and instructed the captain, Yates, to keep the undersized fish segregated from the rest of the catch until the ship returned to port. After the officer departed, Yates told the crew to throw the undersized fish o…