- Dean Smith
UPDATE: ‘Wicked Tuna” Reality TV Star Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges
Back in our September 2015 newsletter issue, we featured an article about a “Wicked Tuna” reality TV star who had been indicted on federal fraud charges. Paul Hebert of Gloucester, Massachusetts fraudulently accepted over $44,000 in Social Security and Medicaid benefits between 2010 and 2013, claiming disability and the inability to work, all while earning income from fishing and through appearances on the reality TV show, “Wicked Tuna.”
According to ABC News, Hebert pleaded guilty to Social Security and Medicaid fraud last month at the U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont.
The National Geographic Channel based show “Wicked Tuna” is predicated on following fishing vessels based out of Gloucester, Massachusetts and their hunt for bluefin tuna, which according to ABC News, can weigh hundreds of pounds and earn paydays worth tens of thousands of dollars.
This is precisely why Hebert was indicted in the first place. His 2009 disability claim stated that he was completely unable to work at ANY job. He also could not walk properly, lift heavy weights, or drive for extended periods of time.
Hebert then thought it would be a good idea to go on reality television in 2012 and failed to report his “new” employment to government agencies.
As part of his plea agreement, Hebert must pay over $53,600 in restitution and attorneys are recommending four years of probation, but we won’t know his final sentence until a hearing in May 2016.