Shrimp company owner’s false claims for federal CDSOA subsidy leads to a criminal conviction
Michael Anderson owned and operated a shrimping business called Shrimpy’s in Savannah Georgia. From 2005 through 2007, Anderson submitted CBP (Customs & Border Protection) Forms 7401 in which he falsely claimed large business expenses as part of a scheme to acquire federal government subsidies under the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Act of 2000 (CDSOA). This federal program is designed to compensate U.S. domestic producers for losses that foreign producers caused by dumping underpriced goods into the American market. Enacted by Congress and administered by Customs, the program allowed the federal government to levy duties on specific foreign goods and distribute the funds to affected domestic producers of products, such shrimpers, who could claim subsidies by identifying their business expenses on the Form 7401 and mailing it to the Customs office in Indiana. Customs would then use the claimed expenses to calculate each qualifying domestic producer’s pro rata share of the funds and distribute the funds accordingly.
Mr. Anderson’s claims for 2005 through 2007 stated he had expenses exceeding $24 million in raw material expenses. He submitted 47 invoices from a company called R&R Seafood, which happened to be identical invoices except they bore different dates ranging from February 2005 to September 2006 and listed different rates for shrimp. The invoices showed he purchased 4.7 million pounds of shrimp for more than $29 million in two years. Based on his CDSOA claims, Anderson received a total of $864,292.40 in federal subsidies.