| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Jan 7 A man who evaded authorities for
23 years on charges he unlawfully imported more than $10 million
worth of caviar into the United States was spared jail time at
his sentencing on Monday.
Instead, a judge in U.S. District Court in Manhattan imposed
a punishment of time already served on Isidoro "Mario"
Garbarino, 69, who has been in custody since Sept. 10.
An Italian national, Garbarino was also fined $10,000 and
will likely be deported to Italy.
Garbarino was indicted in 1987. But while free on bail he
fled to Italy in 1989 and remained a fugitive, mainly in South
America, until he was captured in September 2012 by U.S.
marshals at an airport in Panama.
In November, Garbarino, who owns Aquamar Gourmet Imports
Inc., pleaded guilty to falsely classifying imported goods and
making false statements and agreed to pay $3 million in
The former caviar importer was charged with smuggling
more than 100,000 pounds of Russian and Iranian caviar into the
United States between 1984 and 1987, in part to avoid tariffs.
His company supplied the fish roe to gourmet stores such as
Zabar's in New York as well as major air and cruise lines,
At his sentencing before U.S. District Judge Kevin Duffy,
Garbarino fought back tears as he apologized.
"I'm sorry," said Garbarino. "There are no words in the
vocabulary for me."