RI man admits defrauding top local restaurants and seafood vendors, assaulting federal agents

Friday, December 17, 2021

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Photo: GoLocal

Providence man arrested nine days after assaulting and fleeing federal agents and task force agents as they tried to arrest him for defrauding businesses over $ 800,000, pleaded guilty in court Friday Federal Prosecutor on charges of wire fraud and assaulting a federal officer, US Attorney Zachary Cunha said.

As GoLocal was the first to report in August, Rhode Island restaurants Capriccio and Mare were among those defrauded of the roughly $ 831,000 seafood program, court records show.

About the case

Paul Diogenes, alias Paul Dejullio, 49, admitted in court that he started a fictitious restaurant business, under his pseudonym of president, to get credit from food distributors he used to buy more than 831 $ 760 in luxury foods, including hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of lobster, sea bass, shrimp, scallops, tenderloin, rib eye and wild boar.

Diogenes admitted to reselling much of the product, in some cases to the same company whose stolen banking information he used to obtain credit from food distributors. As part of this scheme, Diogenes fraudulently claimed that the food he was selling came from a restaurant he had recently closed.

On August 3, 2021, FBI agents, FBI task force agents, and Rhode Island State Police monitored and followed Diogenes as he drove into a parking lot behind an East Providence business. Diogenes admitted in court that when officers and task force officers converged to arrest him, he fled.

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During his escape, Diogenes rammed his car into an FBI task force vehicle, with a task force officer and State Police soldier still inside; drives his vehicle towards an FBI agent who quickly departs to avoid being hit; crashed into his car in a delivery van; then crashed into a second FBI task force vehicle that had just been evacuated by an FBI agent and a Providence police officer.

Nine days after fleeing law enforcement, Diogenes was located by the US Marshals Service and the FBI at a hotel in Middleborough, MA. At the time of his arrest, Diogenes was in possession of a briefcase containing $ 116,404 in cash.

Diogenes is to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Justice John J. McConnell, Jr. on March 29, 2022.

The case is being continued by US Deputy Prosecutor Lee H. Vilker.

Diogenes’ fraud was investigated by the FBI Rhode Island Complex Financial Crimes Task Force, with assistance from the Rhode Island State Police and the Providence Police Department , Woonsocket, East Providence, Bourne and Fall River.

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Gladys T. Hensley