Reality TV star sentenced for Social Security and Medicaid fraud

A reality TV star was fined and placed on probation after pleading guilty to accusations of Social Security and Medicaid fraud.

Former Barre resident Paul Hebert, 51, now of Gloucester, Massachusetts, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Vermont to four years of probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine in addition to paying a total of $53,661 in restitution.

Hebert pleaded guilty in January. He starred as a fishing boat captain on “Wicked Tuna,” a National Geographic Channel reality show.

According to a news release from the U.S. attorney for the District of Vermont’s office, court papers say Hebert lied during a 2009 hearing as part of his application to receive Supplemental Security Income, a federal disability benefit, saying that he was unable to lift household objects or drive. He was approved for the program beginning in November 2010.

However, according to court papers, Hebert worked as a commercial fisherman while receiving the federal benefit — including appearing on the reality show.

He collected a total of $34,556 in disability income over two and a half years.

Hebert also lied about his income and assets on an application for Medicaid in 2009 and lied again about his income in an interim report in October

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