A Staten Island manwas sentenced today for stealing almost $4.5 millionfrom elderly victimsthrough his Brooklyn insurance company, according toBrooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.

Paul Simoneschi, 70,was charged with scheme to defraud, money laundering and grand larceny as a hate crime aftertargeting and scamming21 elderly victims.

After pleading guiltyto all of the charges, hewas sentenced on Fridayto up to 12 years in prison.

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According to authorities, he stole almost $4.5 millionfrom the 21 victims, manyof 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 hisclients, some of whom areItalian 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.”