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June 20, 2018

Hawaii man sentenced for fraud that stuck York lobster dealer with big loss

Foto: Courtesy / Tom Thai, Flickr
Foto: Courtesy / Tom Thai, Flickr
A former employee of York-based lobster wholesaler Maine Coast was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court for wire fraud that included a shipment of 50,000 pounds of lobster to a fraudulent customer in China.

A former employee of York-based lobster wholesaler Maine Coast was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court for wire fraud that included a shipment of 50,000 pounds of lobster to a fraudulent customer in China.

U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank for the District of Maine reported that Jonathan F. Cowles, 47, of Honolulu, Hawaii, and formerly of Rowley, Mass., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Jon D. Levy to six months in prison and three years of supervised release for wire fraud.

Cowles, who pleaded guilty on Jan. 22, also was ordered to pay $359,785 in restitution.

According to court records and evidence, between March and June 2014 Cowles used interstate wires to skim about $25,000 in commissions that he was not entitled to receive from his employer, Maine Coast. As part of his fraudulent scheme, Frank's office reported, Cowles also caused Maine Coast to ship about 50,000 pounds of lobster, worth $359,785, to a customer in China whose true identity he concealed. Maine Coast never received payment for that shipment.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the York Police Department.

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