Rhode Island Art Dealer Gets 16 Years in Invention Scam

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PROVIDENCE, RI (AP).- A former Rhode Island art dealer convicted of defrauding a wide range of investors — from a wealthy Japanese sword collector to a school janitor — was sentenced to 16 years in prison Thursday for his elaborate multimillion-dollar scheme. Judge William E. Smith imposed the sentence on Rocco DeSimone, 58, of Johnston, in U.S. District Court in Providence. Prosecutors said DeSimone deserved a stiff sentence because he is a “career con man” and criminal who bilked his victims of more than $6 million, saddling them with “broken dreams, empty bank accounts, and untold distress.” “Justice was served today. Rocco DeSimone is a remorseless, recidivist thief,” said U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha. “He deserves every day of the 16 years he was sentenced to today.” DeSimone was also ordered to pay more than $6 million in restitution and sentenced to three years of supervised release