October 2, 2022
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA
Finance

Fishy scheme that led to theft of $830K worth of lobster, shrimp and ribeye lands scammer in prison for 10 years

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This fishing plan has given a seafood scammer a 10-year upside.

The one-time aspiring chef turned fraudster has been sentenced to a decade in prison for buying তথ্য 830,000 worth of lobster, shrimp and steak, using bank data stolen from a Rhode Island restaurant, which he resold, sometimes tearing up businesses.

Paul Diogenes, 50, spent most of his life in the vicinity of the restaurant, but began a fraud 20 years ago involving the sale of counterfeit checks and stolen goods, federal prosecutors say.

His scams became so outrageous that he was once featured in Boston Magazine for a job as a posh general manager of Boston Foods, where he was later accused of fraud.

Towards the end of 2020, prosecutors say Diogenes, prone to identity theft for his most ambitious scandal, set up a fake catering business using the stolen identity of a former colleague.

“It was a sophisticated fraud plan that could only be carried out by an intelligent and cunning defendant who has a long and troubled history of fraud,” prosecutors wrote in court documents.

A message left with Diogenes’ attorney was not immediately returned.

Prosecutors say Diogenes not only set up a fake business called Lapage Catering, but also paved the way for a partnership with East Providence fish wholesalers. It was through this relationship that Diogenes was able to steal bank details of restaurants in multiple areas from checks used to buy food.

Over a nine-month period, prosecutors say Diogenes, also known as Paul Dezulio, used the restaurant’s account information to order lobster, shrimp, scallops, seaweed, wild boar and rib eye steaks.

All in all, prosecutors say Diogenes stole food worth $ 830,000, which he then sold through the food wholesaler he was involved with, sometimes returning to the restaurants whose accounts he used.

When the FBI caught up with him and tried to arrest him, prosecutors said Diogenes used his car to enter the parking lot of the food wholesaler where he worked and several delivery vans, and was able to escape.

Nine days later, U.S. marshals were caught with Diogenes at a Massachusetts motel, with more than $ 150,000 in cash.

He pleaded guilty in December to wire fraud and assaulting a federal officer.

In the court filing, Diogenes’ lawyer said his client had long struggled with drug and alcohol addiction as well as mental health problems.

Arguing for a longer sentence, prosecutors said Diogenes had a long history of forgery, writing fake checks and resisting arrest. They said he was a “compulsive liar” who “always struggled to tell the truth.”

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