Couple gets prison time for Internet, gold mine fraud

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The New City couple that was convicted of a gold mine and Internet scam were sentenced Tuesday in White Plains.

A judge sentenced James Russo to two consecutive six-year terms for wholesale Internet fraud to the tune of $1.5 million and for taking investments for a non-existent gold mine in Brazil. Russo's wife, Rita, was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Russo says he suffers from Lou Gherig's disease, which leaves him in a wheelchair and forces him to use an oxygen tank 24/7. However, someone testified to seeing Russo drive his car for at least 30 minutes and that he was seen smoking. The defense unsuccessfully argued that Russo's condition won't allow him to last long behind bars.

Russo has until June 9 to surrender.The couple's three children will be sentenced later this month.

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