Criminal past resurfaces for closed pen salmon farmer boss

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Founder of American Aquafarms, Mikael Rønes, was found guilty of defrauding investors in 2008.

The CEO of a planned 30,000 tonnes-a-year closed pen salmon farm planned for Maine, USA, is coming under scrutiny for his criminal history.

Under attack
American Aquafarms’ CEO is founder Mikael Rønes. He is also the founder of the cod farmer Norcod. He is no longer involved in that business.

Undercurrent News reported that the project has come under attack from multiple environmental groups. Additional information from Fox Bangor reported that American Aquafarms is early in the decision process, currently being reviewed by state and local agencies.

White-collar criminal past
Last November, Rønes volunteered information to Bangor Daily News that he has a white-collar criminal past in Norway, and that he has spent time incarcerated because of it.

He told the publication that he got into legal trouble more than a decade ago in Norway when he was working as a stockbroker and “made some promises I could not keep”.

“I am very open about my past,” he said. “I accept full responsibility for my actions and have paid my debt to society.”

Fraud
In 2008, when he was convicted, Mikal Lade Rønes was sentenced to four years in prison, according to the national broadcaster NRK.

When he committed the frauds, Rønes was employed at ABG Sundal Collier and Orion Securities.

The indictment related to the fraud of NOK 72.5 million (EUR 7 million) from several investors, wrote the news site DN.