Ex-Mass. seafood co. owner pleads guilty to fraud
BOSTON -- Federal prosecutors say the former owner of a North Attleborough seafood wholesale company has pleaded guilty to defrauding a bank of $7 million.
Robert Coutu of Cumberland, R.I., pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston on Wednesday to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.
Prosecutors say starting in 2002, the 59-year-old Coutu and some of his employees falsely inflated the company's receivables and inventory balances to make it appear the company was buying and selling more seafood than it was, in order to borrow millions of dollars from Wells Fargo Business Credit Inc.
Coutu faces a maximum of 30 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for Jan. 19.
His lawyer declined comment when contacted by The Associated Press on Thursday.
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