He could spend up to 5 years in prison.
The owner of a jewelry business in Johnston, RI, is set to plead guilty in connection with a multi-million-dollar fraud scheme, according to news reports.
Court documents indicate that Gerald Kent plans to admit to counts of aggravated identity theft along with wire fraud as part of a plea deal, WPRI-TV reports. The news outlet writes that in return, "prosecutors will recommend no more than 60 months in prison and a reduction in offense level."
Kent was accused of orchestrating a fraud scheme that defrauded a debtor finance company of more than $3.6 million dollars, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island said in a July press release.
Kent's company is called Kent Jewelry and "is largely in the business of selling jewelry over the internet using websites such as Groupon.com and Zulily.com," according to a court document.
Authorities alleged that Kent submitted fraudulent invoices to a factoring (debtor finance) company based in Chicago, mostly from Groupon and Zulily, which resulted in payments to Kent of nearly $5 million dollars.
He was alleged to have:
- Created hundreds of fraudulent invoices.
- Created a fraudulent clone of Groupon’s site.
- Enlisted coconspirators to pose as Groupon employees.
- Opened bank accounts in the names of Groupon and Zulily in order to deceive the debtor finance company.
Read more at WPRI-TV
JEWELER SUCCESS STORIES
Wilkerson Steps in When It’s Time to Step Back
Jim Russell of Stein Jewelry in Madison, Mississippi, says Wilkerson seamlessly handled the sale that let him and his wife “do the things that we have always wanted to do.” Trust Wilkerson to handle your end of business sale—they’ll be there every step of the way.