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Jeweler gets 4 years in prison for $3.6 million fraud scheme

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A Connecticut man has been sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay more than $3.6 million in restitution for operating a long-running scheme involving fake invoices through clones of Groupon and Zulily websites.

The U.S. attorney's office in Rhode Island says 52-year-old Gerald Kent, of Groton, Connecticut, must also serve three years' probation.

Kent pleaded guilty in December to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He said he ran the scheme through his jewelry wholesale business, Kent Jewelry, based in Johnston, Rhode Island.

The scheme involved selling fraudulent invoices to a firm that buys unpaid bills at a discount for cash. He also created fraudulent clones of Groupon and Zulily websites.

Prosecutors previously said Kent is a prolific gambler and gambled $43 million during his life.

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