Seafood And Meat Fraudster Gets 10 Years In Federal Prison

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man convicted of cheating food distributors out of more than $800,000 worth of seafood delicacies and prime cuts of meat, and of trying to run over an FBI agent investigating the case, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Paul Diogenes, described in court documents as an “unrepentant and compulsive fraudster” with a propensity to engage in violent behavior toward law enforcement, used stolen banking information from several businesses and created a fictitious catering company to purchase lobster, sea bass, shrimp, scallops, ribeye steak, and wild boar, from November 2020 until July 2021, according to federal prosecutors in Rhode Island.

Diogenes, 50, of Providence, then sold most of the illegally-obtained seafood and meat to area businesses, in some instances to the same businesses whose stolen banking information he used to gain credit from food distributors, prosecutors said.

Last August, as FBI agents and state police troopers tried to arrest him, Diogenes rammed his car into two FBI vehicles, one with two law enforcement officers inside, prosecutors said. He then drove his vehicle toward an FBI agent who had to jump out of the way to avoid injury, and rammed a delivery van before speeding away, prosecutors said.

He was captured nine days later at a Middleborough, Massachusetts hotel with a briefcase filled with more than $116,000 in cash, authorities said.

Diogenes, who according to authorities has 34 convictions on his record, pleaded guilty in December to wire fraud and assault of a federal officer. In addition to his prison sentence, he was ordered to serve three years of probation upon release and pay restitution of more than $830,000.