A Staten Island man was sentenced today for stealing almost $4.5 million from elderly victims through his Brooklyn insurance company, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. 

Paul Simoneschi, 70, was charged with scheme to defraud, money laundering and grand larceny as a hate crime after targeting and scamming 21 elderly victims.

After pleading guilty to all of the charges, he was sentenced on Friday to up to 12 years in prison. 

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According to authorities, he stole almost $4.5 million from the 21 victims, many of them in their 60's or older. The victims lost anywhere from $1,000 to over $1 million.

Simoneschi, who is a licensed insurance agent and financial planner, sold insurance policies and annuities to his clients between March 10, 2008 and July 29, 2015 through his company in the Bay Ridge neighborhood, according to Thompson. 

He developed long-term relationships with his clients, some of whom are Italian immigrants.

“This defendant deserves to spend significant time in prison for his shameful exploitation of elderly people who lacked financial savvy," Thompson said. "We will be as aggressive in prosecuting anyone who commits crimes against senior citizens and other vulnerable residents of Brooklyn.”