Seafood fraudster sentenced to 10 years in prison, large penalty
A man in the U.S. state of Rhode Island, who was accused of bilking nearly USD 1 million (EUR 949,000) from major broadliner distributors in the U.S. by fraudulently purchasing seafood from them, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a major fine.
Paul Diogenes, also known as Paul Dejullio, created a fictitious catering company – LePage Catering – in order to obtain credit from US Foods, Performance Food Group and other distributors to purchase more than USD 831,700 (EUR 789,150) worth of seafood products.
Diogenes bought hundreds of thousands of dollars of lobster, sea bass, shrimp, scallops, filet, ribeye steak, and wild boar, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island. He then resold the product to area businesses. In some cases, it was the same business whose stolen banking information he used to gain credit from food distributors.
Diogenes also assaulted federal officers, according to U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Cunha. Diogenes pled guilty in December 2021 and, on 6 May, 2022, U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell Jr. sentenced him to 120 months in federal prison and a restitution of USD 831,572 (EUR 789,000).
Described as “an unrepentant and compulsive fraudster” in court documents, Diogenes has been convicted in various courts and jurisdictions 34 times, including multiple convictions for fraud-related criminal activity and for charges brought as a result of his violent behavior toward law enforcement.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Justice