PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Connecticut man has been charged in Rhode Island in what federal authorities say is a $5 million fraud scheme.

The U.S. attorney’s office says 51-year-old Gerald Kent, of Groton, Connecticut, was ordered detained on Thursday on charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Kent owns Kent Jewelry in Johnston, Rhode Island which sells jewelry online using flash sale websites such as Groupon and Zulily.

Prosecutors say Kent struck a deal with a firm that buys unpaid invoices at a discount in return for cash. But they say Kent sold the company fraudulent invoices, netting himself $3.6 million.

Kent’s lawyer would not comment on the charges.

He was scheduled to appear back in federal court for a detention hearing on July 26.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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