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News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

November 9, 2012


Court of Appeals Upholds Former R.I. Art Dealer's Conviction & Federal Prison Sentence for Bilking Millions from Investors; Defrauding Inventor

First Circuit Court of Appeals upholds conviction and sentence of Rocco DeSimone for fraud and money laundering in schemes that netted him more than $6M in cash, assets and forgiven debt

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The First Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a U.S. District Court jury’s conviction in March 2011 of Rocco P. DeSimone, 58, of Johnston, R.I., for conning several investors out of more than six million dollars in cash, tangible assets and forgiven debt, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

DeSimone, a former art dealer, was convicted of bilking his victims by selling them interests in inventions he claimed had been purchased by major corporations, but in fact the corporations were unaware of the inventions or expressed no interest in them. The federal court jury convicted DeSimone on March 16, 2011, of seven counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals Court also upheld the sentence imposed by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith of 192 months in federal prison. Judge Smith also ordered DeSimone to pay $6,030,145 in restitution and to forfeit certain property.

The case was prosecuted in U.S. District Court in Providence by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John P. McAdams and Lee H. Vilker. The matter was argued before the First Circuit Court of Appeals by Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald C. Lockhart.

The matter was investigated by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. 



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