New Jersey

Man Sentenced for Running Pizzeria Scam

A New Jersey man convicted of bilking an investor out of more than $1 million in a phony pizzeria scheme has been sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison.

Giovanni Arena of Laurel Springs also will have to serve three years of supervised release once he's released from prison. The sentence imposed Wednesday also mandates that he pay $1,219,200 in restitution and forfeit assets he bought with the money he took, including two luxury automobiles.

A federal jury had convicted Arena in November 2013 on numerous counts, including mail fraud, money laundering and tampering with a witness.

Federal prosecutors say the 58-year-old Arena enticed the victim to send money to invest in the purchase of a pizza shop. But Arena instead spent the cash on personal expenses and gambled away hundreds of thousands of dollars at Atlantic City casinos.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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