Paul Hebert, 50, one of the stars of the National Geographic Channel reality show “Wicked Tuna,” has learned the peril of being a celebrity. Hebert has been indicted on federal fraud charges after officials found it odd to see him on television working hard in the tuna business when he accepted $44,000 in Social Security and Medicaid benefits from 2010 to 2013. The Gloucester man had claimed disability, but he indictment says that he was “capable of arduous physical labor” and beginning in October 2010,”he earned money through fishing and later through his television work.”
First, as I have previously criticized the demise of the history channel under Abbe Raven, I am saddened to report that this is even a show on the National Geographic channel, which used to be a wonderful site for knowledgeable and informative pieces on nature and travel.
Now back to the case. Hebert was hit by a four-count indictment and is due in court on August 10th. Hunting down a fish that moves at 40 miles per hour and can dive deeper than 3,000 feet below the water is problematic when claiming work disability.
National Geographic is still posting his image with the promise that “one-time first mate of the Tuna.com Paul Hebert is ready to show his true mettle as Captain of his own boat.” That is precisely what the prosecutors intend to also show.
On his Facebook page, fans are leaving such notes as “So disappointed in you! That’s all I have to say but I could say more.”