Tarpon Springs business owner pleads guilty to violating federal law
October 8, 2019 - The owner and operator of Sponges Direct Inc. in Tarpon Springs pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Endangered Special Act. Nicholas Skaroulis faces up to one year in federal prison, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida said. From 2014 to 2018, his company sold and exported non-living sponges to customers outside of the United States, but failed to disclose the contents of the shipments as required by federal regulation, and evaded the payment of inspection and user fees, prosecutors said, citing a plea agreement. A sentencing date has not yet been set.