Closing Arguments Set in Trial of RI Art Dealer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Closing arguments are set to begin in the trial of a former Rhode Island art dealer accused of duping investors out of $6 million by lying about access to deep-pocketed business connections.

Federal prosecutors and attorneys for Rocco DeSimone are expected to deliver closing arguments on Monday in U.S. District Court in Providence. Both sides rested their cases last week.

Prosecutors say DeSimone defrauded investors by convincing them to buy into inventions he falsely claimed major international corporations had promised to buy for millions of dollars.

DeSimone has pleaded not guilty to mail fraud and other charges. His attorneys say his accountant handled his financial dealings, and he has contradicted much of the witness testimony against him.

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