By Kevin Wadlow
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A Boca Raton man was fined $250,000 Monday and put on federal probation for three years after pleading guilty to violating the federal Lacey Act for his part in shipping live Florida Keys lobster to China without a license.
Eric Burman, 60, of Boca Raton was charged on July 1 in Key West with "transporting, selling, receiving, acquiring, and purchasing wildlife, that is Florida spiny lobster, with a fair market value in excess of $350, knowing that said wildlife was taken, possessed, transported, and sold in foreign commerce in violation of" state and federal law.
According to statements in court and the court pleadings, Burman was president and sole director of Eric Burman Sales in Pompano Beach.
Federal prosecutors say Burman admitted that in August and September 2010, he and a co-conspirator, who was not named, purchased spiny lobster from harvesters in Monroe County without creating and providing to the harvesters and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, trip tickets reflecting the transactions. The co-conspirator "caused" the lobster to be taken to Burman's Broward business packing and shipping overseas.