A lobster fishing cooperative that is suing its former CEO in federal court has hired two people to round out its new management team.
Lobster 207 LLC, also known as the Maine Lobstering Union, has appointed Carmen Look as its chief financial officer and Brian Hemingway as its director of business development, the organization said Thursday. They join CEO Mike Yohe, who was named to his post last spring after Lobster 207 fired Warren Pettegrow, in the organization’s front office.
The cooperative is alleging in a lawsuit that Pettegrow and his parents defrauded and stole from the union after selling it their wholesale lobster business for $4 million in 2017. The lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court in Bangor.
Look is a certified public accountant with more than 20 years of experience in finance and tax preparation, much of it in connection with Maine’s lobster industry. She is a graduate of the University of Maine at Machias and has a master’s degree from Husson University.
Hemingway, an Army veteran, has worked in wholesale food distribution for more than 10 years and specializes in grocery sales, a market Lobster 207 is looking to enter this year, according to the cooperative.
In the lawsuit, the cooperative accuses the Pettegrows and Stephen Peabody, an Addison resident who is manager of the Beals-Jonesport Co-op, of violating the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by embezzling funds, submitting fraudulent invoices, over-charging for lobster products and violating the terms of the sale contract by operating a competing wholesale business.
The Pettegrows and other defendants have until Feb. 18, 2020 to file responses to Lobster 207’s complaint, which was filed in December.
Lobster 207 is the wholesale and retail business owned by the Maine Lobstering Union, a cooperative of Maine lobstermen that is affiliated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union. The union was founded in 2013 in the wake of a sharp drop in the price paid to fishermen for the catch as a way to give member fishermen a greater financial stake in the wholesale distribution of lobster.