STEPHENVILLE, N.L. — A contractor working for the federal Fisheries Department in Newfoundland and Labrador is accused of accepting bribes of seafood.
Scott Fortune, 32, has been charged with forgery, falsifying documents, accepting bribes and two counts of fraud.
Documents from the provincial court in Stephenville, N.L., allege that Fortune was bribed with "pans of crab" to help fishers hide the true amount of crab they had harvested.
He is accused of falsifying the actual weight of the harvested seafood and forging a document.
The charge sheet says the alleged offences took place between January 2021 and June of this year.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
A statement Thursday from the Fisheries Department says that in addition to the criminal charges, Fortune faces three charges under the Fisheries Act: making false statements to a fisheries official, producing false records and unlawfully possessing or selling snow crab.
It says the alleged offences happened when he was a third-party contractor working to monitor fish landings as a dockside observer.
"Maintaining credibility and integrity in third-party monitoring programs ensures that Fisheries and Oceans Canada receives accurate and timely harvest data, which is essential in managing sustainable fisheries," the statement says.
"Fisheries and Oceans Canada has revoked the individual’s dockside monitor program designation and relevant information from our investigation has been handed over to the RCMP."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 9, 2023.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version described the accused as a Fisheries Department employee.