The Associated Press
The organizers of a sailboat race from Key West to Cuba have been indicted on two counts of providing unlicensed travel services to the Communist island nation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
Peter Goldsmith and Michele Geslin ran the race in violation of the Trading With The Enemy Act, federal officials said. The first count of the indictment could carry as much as a five-year prison term and $250,000 fine; the second count has a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and possible fine of $100,000.
Crews competing in the Key West Sailing Club Conch Republic Cup departed May 22, 2003 for Havana and several Cuban shore communities after receiving pre-race warnings they would be violating U.S. Department of Commerce licensing regulations.
About 20 boats took part in the race, which was then in its third year.
A call placed to the sailing club Thursday evening rang unanswered. A telephone listing in Goldsmith’s name in Key West had been disconnected, and there was no listing in Geslin’s name.
The sailors participating in the race brought humanitarian aid, including medicine, educational supplies, books and food for the Cuban people.
Prosecutors contend Goldsmith and Geslin “organized, administered and operated” the races despite being notified that they needed a license to provide travel services to Cuba from the Office of Foreign Assets Control.