Market Accused Of Fishy Business

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Richard Scores, Jr., the owner and CEO of Westbury Fish Co., was arrested and arraigned yesterday for allegedly selling over $100K in fish and shellfish.

Scores was arrested by District Attorney Investigators and Department of Environmental Conservation police officers. He is charged with selling over $100K in fresh fish and shellfish to Long Island restaurants without the proper permit and licenses.  

The 57-year-old Commack resident and Westbury Fish Co. are each being charged with six felony counts of Failure to Possess Shellfish Shipper’s and Processor’s Permit; five felony counts and one misdemeanor count of Trafficking in Marine Food Fish and Crustacea for resale to other than the final consumer without a valid Food Fish and Crustacea Dealer and Shipper License; and six misdemeanor counts of Failure to Possess Shellfish Shipper’s and Processor’s Permit.

Westbury Fish Co., is located at 249B Drexel Ave.  (Photo from the Westbury Fish Company Facebook page)
Westbury Fish Co., is located at 249B Drexel Ave.
(Photo from the Westbury Fish Company Facebook page)

DEC regulations require that shellfish shippers satisfy very specific criteria regarding the handling, processing, transportation and shipping of shellfish, as well as recordkeeping associated with such transactions, before shippers can be issued permits and be allowed to operate. Because of the unique nature of shellfish and seafood along with its elevated risk of food-borne illnesses and spoilage, these businesses require extra care on the part of its workers and managers and receive great scrutiny from state regulators. New York law requires that permit holders submit to DEC inspections and must not exhibit health and operational deficiencies in their business.

In the case of Westbury Fish Co., after inspections by the DEC had shown that the Westbury Fish facility did not meet the state requirements for issuance of a Shellfish Shipper-Class “A” Permit (which allows the permit holder and any person employed by the permit holder to reship, pack or repack shellfish purchased from valid shellfish shipper/digger permit holders), the company’s application for a 2014 permit had been denied.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and DEC Police discovered that since January 2014 both Westbury Fish Co. and Scores had been engaged in the sale and transportation of both food fish and shellfish without the necessary license and permits.

The DEC further determined that Westbury Fish Co. had sold over $100,000 in shellfish and food fish to Long Island buyers for months without permits or licensure. Even after having been expressly denied a shellfish permit and having been explicitly informed that it could not sell shellfish, Westbury Fish Co. and Scores continued to deal in shellfish for months.

Assistant District Attorney Brian Heid and Deputy Chief Andrew Weiss of Acting DA Singas’ Environmental Crimes Unit are prosecuting the case. Scores is represented by Edward McCabe, Esq., who could not be reached for comment.

Nassau District Court Judge Frank Doddato released the defendant on his own recognizance. If convicted of the top charge, Scores faces up to 16 months to four years in prison. He is due back in court on March 3.

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