Hawaii Man Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced that Jonathan F. Cowles, 46, of Honolulu, Hawaii, and formerly of Rowley, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in U.S. District Court to wire fraud.
According to court records and evidence introduced at the plea hearing, between March and June 2014, the defendant used interstate wires to skim over $25,000 in commissions to which he was not entitled from his employer, Maine Coast Shellfish, LLC (Maine Coast), a lobster wholesaler located in York, Maine. As part of his fraudulent scheme, he also caused Maine Coast to ship about 50,000 lbs. of lobster worth about $360,000 to a customer in China whose true identity he concealed and for which Maine Coast was not paid.
Cowles faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Under his plea agreement, Cowles has also agreed to pay Maine Coast almost $360,000 in restitution. He will be sentenced after completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the York Police Department.