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By Tammy Bruce
Topic - Thomas Connors
A former Rhode Island art dealer convicted of defrauding a wide range of investors _ from a wealthy collector of Japanese swords to a school janitor _ was sentenced to 16 years in prison Thursday for his elaborate multimillion-dollar scheme.
A federal prosecutor said during his closing argument Monday that a former Rhode Island art dealer charged in a $6 million fraud case is a ruthless con man, but a defense attorney countered that his client is the victim of his accountant, a greedy business partner and investors who want their money back.
he noted that Smith did not impose the stiffer sentence of 17 1/2 years that prosecutors sought.