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According to U.S. federal government court documents, a Florida man posed as a Safeway buyer -grocery store employee- and defrauded Arctic Seafood of approximately US$432,000 (€410,000) in Russian king crabs.

The perpetrator, David Subil pretending to work for Safeway supermarket, is accused to place large seafood orders, reports Seattle’s KING television station.

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To do so, Subil would have used multiple false email accounts to get seafood from San Francisco-based seafood distributor, Arctic Foods, to deliver two shipments of crab to North Star Cold Storage in Stanwood, Washington.

These two pickups were made using a fake name and trucking company, according to the authorities’ documentary information. All were discovered in the second shipment. After this second shipment, the owner of Arctic Foods contacted Subil to tell him they had been overcharged without receiving a response. Then the Arctic Foods owner contacted Safeway, which revealed that Subil did not work for them. That’s when something was fishy for Arctic Foods.

Subil was under police suspicion after these events. Thus, in late January, North Star employees loaded cheaper seafood onto the truck, where police would, hours later, stop the truck driver. The driver that was near Tacoma (Washington) was finally arrested for falsification and possession of a fraudulent invoice.

All of this was confirmed by the price of the Florida crab, which was below the market value of the crab, at a price that matched one of Subil’s alleged shipments, according to Seattle TV.

Subil, allegedly, coordinated a fourth shipment of Arctic seafood and authorities placed position tracking devices on the packaging. The seafood shipment arrived at a junk removal service in Florida and authorities suspect Subil decided to unload the seafood after he realized was not a real king crab.

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Everything strung together

According to investigators, Subil then booked a one-way plane ticket to Colombia on February 18. Finally he did not board the plane and subsequently was detained in Miami, according to KING.

According to SeaFoodSource, Subil has a long criminal record. These include convictions for food-related grand theft and fraud. On two previous occasions, he purchased seafood and meat with forged checks for high values. Three counts of interstate transportation of stolen goods are charged against Subil in this case.

No information is available other than what has been made available by the media, either by Arctic Food or Subil’s lawyer.

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