Man Throws Away 3 Small Fish And Ends Up In The US Supreme Court
Recent cert petition granted. Guy had 72 red grouper fish when Florida officers boarded his boat off shore. Alleged to be too small to keep. Was told to bring the fish and boat to port. He did. Officers counted only 69 fish, and alleged that he had thrown 3 overboard. Few years later, charged in federal court with a federal felony, basically Obstruction of Justice. To be clear, a violation of the Oxley-Sarbanes Act at 18 USC 1519. Here is a summary:
Whether Mr. Yates was deprived of fair notice that destruction of fish would fall within the purview of 18 U.S.C. § 1519, which makes it a crime for anyone who “knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object” with the intent to impede or obstruct an investigation, where the term “tangible object” is ambiguous and undefined in the statute, and unlike the nouns accompanying “tangible object” in section 1519, possesses no record-keeping, documentary, or informational content or purpose.
Case will be heard next october. Briefs and information can be found here: