Ex-Mass. seafood firm owner gets 5 years for fraud
The former owner of a Massachusetts seafood wholesale company has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to defrauding a bank of $7 million.
A federal judge in Boston yesterday also sentenced Cumberland, R.I., resident Robert Coutu to three years of supervised release. The judge ordered Coutu to repay Wells Fargo Business Credit Inc. more than $6.5 million.
Prosecutors say Coutu and some employees before 2005 started falsely inflating Ocean Fresh Seafood Inc.'s receivables and inventory balances to make it appear the company was buying and selling more seafood than it was so it could borrow millions of dollars from the bank.
The company was based in North Attleborough, an industrial town of 30,000 residents.
The 53-year-old Coutu pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering.