Art

Trial begins for RI art dealer accused of $6M con

AP News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2011 1:13 PM
Trial begins for RI art dealer accused of $6M con

A federal prosecutor says that a former Rhode Island art dealer earlier convicted of tax fraud duped investors out of $6 million using "false promises and outright lies."

Prosecutor John McAdams said in his opening statement as trial began Wednesday that Rocco DeSimone falsely claimed to have access to deep-pocketed business connections. DeSimone has pleaded not guilty to mail fraud charges.

DeSimone's attorneys declined to give an opening statement, but they have written that DeSimone relied on his accountant's advice in his business dealings.

DeSimone was convicted in 2005 of tax fraud and later escaped from prison after learning of the mail fraud investigation.