RI art dealer to be sentenced

July 21, 2011 - 2:34 AM
Art Fugitive

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Rocco DeSimone, a Rhode Island native and former art dealer convicted of tax evasion after selling a painting by impressionist Claude Monet. DeSimone is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday, July 21, 2011, in U.S. District Court in Providence by Judge William E. Smith. (AP Photo//U.S. Marshals, File)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A federal judge is set to sentence a Rhode Island art dealer convicted of money laundering and mail fraud.

Rocco DeSimone, of Johnston, is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Providence by Judge William Smith.

Prosecutors want 58-year-old DeSimone to spend more than 17 years in prison. Defense attorney Paul DiMaio says he will ask that DeSimone be sent to jail for 10 years or less.

DeSimone was convicted March 16 of money laundering and seven counts of mail fraud. A jury found he fleeced an inventor and investors out of more than $6 million.

Prosecutors say DeSimone deserves a stiff sentence because he is a "career con man" who stole his victims' money and caused them emotional distress.