Agents arrested two Abbeville fishermen on June 5 for allegedly trying to falsify documents relating to the Shrimp Refrigeration Cost-Share Program through the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Christoper T. Cao, 46, and Tam V. Nguyen, 52, both of Abbeville, were arrested for injuring public records and filing false public documents, according to an LDWF press release.
Both men filed a Shrimp Refrigeration Cost-Share Program application with LDWF in an attempt to receive a 50-percent monetary reimbursement for equipment upgrades on their shrimping vessels.
According to the release, participants in this program may purchase and install advanced refrigeration equipment onboard their vessels in order to produce high-quality seafood products.
Cao allegedly recreated and altered a purchase receipt for a $12,340 generator, the release states.
Further investigation revealed that the generator was not installed on the vessel and was originally purchased for a different vessel, but Cao attempted to collect $6,170 from LDWF, the release states.
Nguyen also allegedly altered a purchase receipt for a $12,340 generator which was purchased for a different vessel. According to the release, he also allegedly altered an additional $7,991 worth of purchase receipts for various equipment and supplies, which were purchased for other vessels as well.
Further investigation revealed that the vessel had existing generators, but they did not correlate with any of the paperwork, and Nguyen attempted to collect $10,165.50 from LDWF.
Cao and Nguyen were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail.
Injuring public records and filing false public documents each carry up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail for each offense, the release states.