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Man Pleads to Assaulting Officers While Fleeing Food Fraud Arrest

The US District Courthouse in Providence, RI.
The US District Courthouse in Providence, RI.
The US District Courthouse in Providence, RI. A Providence man has pleaded guilty to assaulting officers and agents as he fled arrest for a n $800,000 food fraud scheme.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Providence man arrested nine days after he assaulted and fled federal agents and task force officers as they attempted to arrest him on charges that he defrauded businesses of more than $800,000, pled guilty in federal court Friday to charges of wire fraud and assault of a federal officer.

United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha announced the plea that day.

Paul Diogenes, a/k/a Paul Dejullio, 49, admitted to the court that he created a fictitious catering company, listing his alias as president, to obtain credit from food distributors that he used to purchase more than $831,760 in luxury foods, including hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of lobster, sea bass, shrimp, scallops, filet, rib eye steak, and wild boar.

Diogenes admitted that he resold much of the product, in some instances to the same business whose stolen banking information he used to gain credit from the food distributors. In furtherance of the scheme, Diogenes fraudulently claimed that the food he was selling was from a restaurant that he recently closed.

On Aug. 3, 2021, FBI agents, FBI task force officers, and Rhode Island State Police surveilled and followed Diogenes as he drove into a parking lot behind an East Providence business. Diogenes admitted to the court that as the agents and task force officers converged to arrest him, he fled. In the course of his escape, Diogenes rammed his car into an FBI task force vehicle, with a task force officer and State Police trooper still inside; drove his vehicle toward an FBI agent who quickly jumped out of the way to avoid being hit; rammed his car into a delivery van; and then rammed a second FBI task force vehicle that had just been vacated by an FBI agent and a Providence Police officer.

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

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

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.

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

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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