The U.S. Supreme Court threw overboard on Tuesday a Florida fisherman's conviction under an evidence-tampering provision of a federal white collar crime law for disposing of undersized red grouper fish while he was under investigation.

On a 5-4 vote, the court said fisherman John Yates' actions were not the type of conduct covered by the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed by Congress to guard against corporate fraud of the sort committed by companies including Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc.

Yates was convicted in 2011 on two of three charges, including one under the so-called anti-shredding provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley law.