NC company falsely relabels crabmeat as “Product of USA” but originally from Asia, South America

(Photo: WTVD)

NEW BERN, N.C. (WTVD) — A North Carolina man is heading to federal prison for one year after selling crabmeat he claimed came from local waters when it actually came from Asia and South America.

Philip R. Carawan pleaded guilty to falsely labeling $4 million worth of foreign crabmeat and his company, Capt. Neill’s Seafood Inc. was given five years’ probation and required to pay a $500,000 fine, according to federal prosecutors.

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Carawan, of Columbia, on the Albermarle Sound, admitted to falsely labeling more than 179,000 pounds of crabmeat and selling it to wholesale membership clubs and other retailers.

Capt. Neill’s crabmeat has also been sold at the North Carolina State Fair since 2004, according to a 2016 article by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. The company’s crab dip was voted “Best New Food” at the fair in 2016.

In the article, Capt. Neill’s claimed its crabmeat was from the North Carolina coast and not foreign sources.

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