By Andrew KrayewskiThe Associated PressThe U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that a former fashion designer who was convicted of fraud has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.

    Court records indicate Michael B. Smith, 70, of New York, was convicted in federal court in New York of one count of wire fraud and one count each of making false statements and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

    Smith pleaded guilty in October to charges of lying to federal investigators about the nature of his work for companies such as Dolce & Gabbana and Dior, among others.

    He also admitted to fraudulently obtaining government funds for his companies, and was sentenced to six years in federal prison.

    His plea was sealed until Tuesday when the Department of Homeland Security said it had filed criminal charges against Smith.

    He was released from prison Wednesday on parole.

    Smith’s wife, Mary Jane Smith, has also pleaded guilty.

    The court papers say she was a co-conspirator in the scheme.

    The documents say she is also a person of interest in the case.

    The federal government alleges Smith defrauded the government of more than $7.6 million over a 15-year period.

    The charges stem from his alleged use of federal financial aid programs, which are known as federal loans.

    Federal investigators said in court documents that Smith’s companies were responsible for over $300 million in payments to other companies in the United States and overseas.

    Federal prosecutors have accused Smith of using his business ties to obtain federal financial assistance, including loans, for his own businesses and for his wife’s business.

    The government alleged that Smith used the loans to buy luxury items such as expensive Ferraris, Ferragamo suits, watches, and watches, as well as luxury homes and other assets.

    The charges against him also allege he obtained funds to purchase items such an expensive diamond necklace and an expensive $2,200 watch for his bride, who was born in the late 1980s, and a diamond engagement ring for his sister.


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