Supreme Court to hear fisherman’s case

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a fish story. The case involves the use of a federal law originally aimed at the accounting industry, but which ensnared a fisherman convicted of getting rid of three small red grouper.

The justices said Monday they will review the conviction of commercial fishing boat captain John Yates of Florida. Yates was convicted of destroying evidence: three fish that were under the 20-inch minimum legal size for red grouper caught in the Gulf of Mexico.

The legal issue is that the government used part of the law Congress passed in 2002 in response to the Enron scandal and abuses in the accounting industry. Yates says the law’s anti-shredding provision is intended to prevent the destruction of financial records. The Obama administration said it targets “tangible objects,” including fish.

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