Boat Owners Guilty Of Racketeering

License, RacketeeringOregon State Police Fish and Game troopers last week served a search warrant in April on Tradewinds Charters of Depoe Bay on suspicions the company had been taking money for one day fishing licenses but not issuing them. The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed. (Photo by Larry Coonrod)

Charter Boat Owners Guilty of Racketeering Must Sell Their Business

Last week owners of the Depoe Bay Tradewinds Charter Boat Company Tim and Julie Harmon along with their daughter Eva entered guilty pleas on charges of racketeering and to assisting another in a wildlife violation. The three were arrested in July 2015 along with several of their employees and charter boat captains. Oregon State Police (OSP) investigation found that the boat company customers were charged for fishing licenses and then were either not issued licenses or were given receipts and told those receipts were valid fishing licenses.

According to Deputy District Attorney Joseph Allison as part of the settlement the Harmon’s will be paying $45,000 to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) for lost revenue from licenses and just over $48,000 to OSP to cover their investigation costs. Also as part of the settlement the state agreed to dismiss the charges against the other 6 boat captains and employees. DDA Allison said he felt the settlement was fair and just. “What we did adequately addressed the criminal conduct that occurred and tried through the resolution to minimize the affects on
Depoe Bay as a whole.”

Also as a term of the plea agreement the Harmon’s are on parole for 5-years and must sell their charter boat business and will not be allowed to have an ownership or be part of any business associated with Oregon Charter Boat fishing. Once the sale is complete and the fines and restitution paid then the family can keep any remaining money from the sale.

Story by Kiera Morgan