NewsProtecting Paradise

Actions

Man pleads guilty to four counts of mail fraud Cape Coral

He could face 20 years in federal prison for each count
Caught with 49 undersized grouper
Posted at 5:01 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 17:01:37-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Mark E. Zywotko 47, has pleaded guilty to four counts of mail fraud.

Zywotko faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each count.

According to the plea agreement, from January 2013 through December 2017, Zywotko perpetrated a scheme to overharvest more than 50,000 pounds of Gulf reef fish from the waters off Southwest Florida.

These illegally-caught fish were worth more than $286,000.

Zywotko knowingly and illegally harvested, landed, and sold federally-regulated Gulf Reef Fish, including red grouper and red snapper, and
submitted false documents, via the U.S. Mail, to state and federal agencies to conceal his overfishing.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.