Of course it was in Maine.

By Mike Pomranz

Yes, stealing is always a crime, but let’s be honest, some forms of stealing sound better than others. For instance, robbing a liquor store… It’s got a bad connotation. On the other hand, embezzling lobsters… Who’s got the butter, am I right?!

According to the Portland Press Herald, the Maine-based lobster wholesaler Sea Salt is suing one of its part-owners, Matthew Bellerose, alleging that he commitment one of the most white tablecloth crimes you could ever imagine: Bellerose is accused of sending lobsters to a fake client without billing them, and then reselling the lobsters himself for a profit—or to put it another way, good ol’ lobster embezzlement. Overall, the company claims Bellerose’s scheme was worth at least $1.5 million if not far more.

The suit alleges that Bellerose, who began working at Sea Salt in 2009 and was offered a 20 percent stake in the company in 2017, may have been skimming lobsters dating all the way back to 2015. Apparently, Sea Salt believes Bellerose and a potential partner-in-crime set up a fake “restaurant” called “Mastro’s” with an address listed at a nearby UPS store—a scam that sounds like it wouldn’t be too difficult to pull off because Bellerose was in charge of order fulfillment and shipping.

Potentially hurting Bellerose’s cause is that Sea Salt also claims that he admitted to his wrong doing. The Press Herald says that the suit states the he sent the following text message to his partners: “Guys, I just want to say I’m really sorry…. Not only have I betrayed your trust but years of friendship as well and that one will haunt me forever. … I’d like to resolve this as best as I possibly can with you guys without my innocent family having to suffer for my bad decisions.” First rule of lobster embezzlement is, of course, you do not talk about lobster embezzlement. Second rule of lobster embezzlement is never get high on your own supply.

The lawsuit reportedly also includes another odd detail: Supposedly, Bellerose told the other owners he choose to embezzle lobsters from the company to help pay for the 20 percent stake he was offered. True or not, let’s just rehash that for a minute: The plan would have been to steal lobsters from the lobster company you were about to become an owner in to help pay for your share of the lobster company that you were stealing from? Well, at least the good news would be that after you become an owner, you’d already know how to save the company a lot of money.