PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WTIC and AP) – A Connecticut man has pleaded guilty to what federal authorities described as a $5 million fraud scheme using his Rhode Island jewelry store.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Rhode Island says 52-year-old Gerald Kent, of Groton, Connecticut, made a plea deal Wednesday with prosecutors. Kent owned Kent Jewelry, which sold jewelry online primarily to Groupon and Zulily.

He pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. The identity theft charge has a mandatory minimum two-year sentence, which will be consecutive to his sentence for wire fraud.

Prosecutors say Kent made a deal with a firm in Chicago that buys unpaid invoices. Prosecutors say he sold approximately $5 million in fraudulent invoices and made about $3.6 million through the scheme.

Kent is scheduled to be sentenced March 9.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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