Waldoboro man sentenced for underreporting income and elver harvest

October 1, 2015

(AUGUSTA) Attorney General Janet Mills announced today that Paul L. Griffin, Jr., 44, an elver fisherman from Waldoboro, was sentenced on September 28, 2015 in Lincoln County Superior Court to a jail term of 364 days, all but 90 days suspended and one year of administrative release. Griffin had previously pleaded guilty to income tax evasion and failure to file and pay income taxes for years 2009 and 2011 through 2013. In addition, in 2012 and 2013 Griffin substantially underreported his elver harvests to the Department of Marine Resources and then failed to file Maine Income Tax Returns for these years during which he earned over $370,000 each year.

Griffin will also pay restitution of $67,762 and forfeit his ability to harvest elvers for the 2016 season. Griffin has already paid $6,500 in restitution and will be required to make regular payments towards the remaining balance.

The investigations into the underreporting of elver harvesting have highlighted the need for harvesters to truthfully report their harvests so that the Department of Marine Resources can effectively manage and conserve Maine?s fishery. Attorney General Mills commented, ?Elver harvesting can be extremely lucrative, but we must take management of the resource very seriously, or the fishery could be gone for good. A few bad actors could jeopardize the entire fishery. This case demonstrates excellent collaboration between different state agencies and the Attorney General?s Office appreciates the cooperation we received.?

This case was investigated by the Maine Revenue Services? Criminal Investigations Unit and the Department of Marine Resources. Assistant Attorney General Gregg D. Bernstein handled this matter for the Attorney General?s Criminal Division.