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Carib Sea Plead guilty to illegally importing coral
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gsolman6
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Joined: 16 Jan 2007

PostPosted: 2007.01.16(Tue)22:30    Post subject: Carib Sea Plead guilty to illegally importing coral Reply with quote

http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls/PressReleases/061108-04.html

A good reason to boycott this company and scrutinize others in this industry.
Has anyone seen the ads?
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.17(Wed)9:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great link, thanks.
I would remind you though, that pleading guilty does not mean that the actions were done with malice or intent to commit a crime.

I will reserve judgement on both the company and the President/ owner as I have no information that would lead me to believe that they thought they were doing wrong or knew their activity was illegal. In fact, their side is that this was an error that they deeply regret:
http://www.practicalfishkeeping.CO2.uk/pfk/pages/item.php?news=1126

I commend them for pleading guilty and paying the fines as appropriate, and I commend the authorities for protecting the organisms protected by CITES...

all in all, I see no reason to avoid supporting this company and if both sides are telling the truth, then this is actually a company that is worth supporting as they admit their wrong doing and show they still have ethics.

My 2 cents
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gsolman6
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PostPosted: 2007.01.17(Wed)10:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

In reality most defendents plead guilty b/c they have no other practical choice and/or the advice of their counsel.

I too have since posting read their rebuttal. They say that the corals were taken from a terrestrial mine and not a live system. If they can back this up I will buy their products again. That the burden of proof is on the already convicted is a fair approach.

It is a little disappointing not to find any acknowledgement of this case or their side of the story on their website - makes it look like they are trying to sweep the dirt under the rug.
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Liszie
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Location: Lower Mainland, BC

PostPosted: 2007.01.17(Wed)23:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I think this is good news. It's good to know that the people are doing their job, eh? The truth is, I had no expectations for CITES to do anything at all- most of the legislation thus far has had no effect, in my opinion. A lot of companies are probably doing stuff like this- it's about time they got caught.
Plus, I like their punishment. It's good to know the money from their fines is going to help the corals, instead of sitting in some government coffers. And you can bet CaribSea is going to be more careful in the future.

Liszie
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Nova_C
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Joined: 03 Nov 2004
Location: Calgary, AB

PostPosted: 2007.01.18(Thu)10:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

gsolman6 wrote:
In reality most defendents plead guilty b/c they have no other practical choice and/or the advice of their counsel.


Or because they know they made a mistake and are accepting the consequences? They say that you should never, ever admit fault after a car accident. However, last summer I rear-ended someone because my mind was drifting. The first thing I said was that it was my fault. I made no bones about it.

I know this is the age of getting away with whatever you can but there still exists people with some sense of honor.

gsolman6 wrote:
I too have since posting read their rebuttal. They say that the corals were taken from a terrestrial mine and not a live system. If they can back this up I will buy their products again. That the burden of proof is on the already convicted is a fair approach.


Oh really? They were convicted of importing coral without the proper documentation. Ohhhh, t3h 3vil.

Back to my car accident; Would it be up to me to prove my innocence if the driver of the other vehicle accused me of attempted murder? Burden of proof is ALWAYS on the prosecution.

gsolman6 wrote:
It is a little disappointing not to find any acknowledgement of this case or their side of the story on their website - makes it look like they are trying to sweep the dirt under the rug.


No part of their sentence said they had to post the case to their website. Considering your reaction, it's a good thing they didn't. People will assume they're just another bad corporation like ALL the others and it would drive business away. I'd never heard of Carib Sea before this but I see no reason for them to lose business over this. Hell, now that I know the name they'll be one of the companies I check out when looking for aquarium stuff in the future.
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gsolman6
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Joined: 16 Jan 2007

PostPosted: 2007.01.20(Sat)10:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nova_C wrote:
Or because they know they made a mistake and are accepting the consequences?


I think it is hard to surmise whether or not they knew they were making a mistake at the time unless you can read their minds. How they plead gives no indication either way and why do you assume it what they say is sincere? Some companies look at gov't fines as a cost of doing business b/c in the overall scheme of things they can still be profitable doing whatever if they are only caught X% of the time. That company has been in business awhile and I imagine they have been importing coral for some time so I still don't understand their missing this standard procedure.


Nova_C wrote:
Or because they know they made a mistake and are accepting the consequences? They say that you should never, ever admit fault after a car accident. However, last summer I rear-ended someone because my mind was drifting. The first thing I said was that it was my fault. I made no bones about it.


I have never heard of the person being rear-ended having fault in an accident, so again it was painfully obvious whose fault it was given the circumstances.

Nova_C wrote:
I know this is the age of getting away with whatever you can but there still exists people with some sense of honor.


And that's good. From Carib Sea's reaction I don't see anything that would prove or disprove their sense of accountability. What they say in court and what they say in private company offices doesn't necessarily jive.

Nova_C wrote:
Oh really? They were convicted of importing coral without the proper documentation. Ohhhh, t3h 3vil.

Back to my car accident; Would it be up to me to prove my innocence if the driver of the other vehicle accused me of attempted murder? Burden of proof is ALWAYS on the prosecution.


After a guilty verdict is rendered it is up to the former defendent to prove his innocence. Its called an appeal.

Nova_C wrote:
No part of their sentence said they had to post the case to their website. Considering your reaction, it's a good thing they didn't. People will assume they're just another bad corporation like ALL the others and it would drive business away. I'd never heard of Carib Sea before this but I see no reason for them to lose business over this. Hell, now that I know the name they'll be one of the companies I check out when looking for aquarium stuff in the future.


I subsrcribe to TFH and haven't seen any ads. That is why I asked about this in my first post. Having a 1/2 by 1/2" ad buried in the back isn't very effective if that is what they have done. Its called good PR to acknowledge the situation and explain their side of the story. If you shy away from the subject people will think they are trying to hide something even if they aren't. The Washington Post and NYT are filled with ads from private corps. trying to explain to the public why they have been misjudged for whatever legal bind they are in. I think that Carib Sea knows that this is a low profile enough case where they can ignore it and most people won't know the difference. If this was on the scale of the Exxon Valdez for this particular industry then you would see a full statement on their site.

Again I think the outcome of the case was fair and that other companies will recognize the need to do business in the accepted way with oversight from impartial agencies enforcing the rules. Hopefully there will be more transparency in the industry and that incentives to business in the wrong way will be reduced.

As an aside I don't think most private corps. are immoral - I think they are amoral. The supreme value of any company is to increase returns for its stakeholders and most of them are indifferent to questions of why or how, but more attuned to when and how much.
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