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Con man stole millions in jewels while in a Florida prison

Prison (generic)
Posted at 4:14 PM, Sep 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-02 16:14:00-04

MIAMI (AP) - A con man who once racked up a $174,000 Miami Beach hotel bill while posing as a music executive is in trouble again, this time for stealing millions of dollars in jewelry in a scheme he ran from prison.

James Sabatino pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Miami to a scheme in which he used cell phones he bought from prison guards to contact jewelry stores and convinced them to agree to loan expensive jewels for use in rap videos.

But the Miami Herald reports he instead had people outside of prison collect the jewels and pawn them.

Sabatino has run scams most of his adult life, including staying at a Miami Beach hotel for weeks saying he was a Sony music executive. The unpaid bill included more than $100,000 in champagne.