Appellate Court Lessons Sentence of Diamond Scam Artist

Norman Schonfeld, a diamond dealer who scammed more than $6 million in diamonds from almost a dozen wholesalers, will be released from prison early under a new appellate court decision, according to a local news report.

According to the report, Schonfeld was convicted of 40 crimes after an eight-week trial, and was sentenced to pay nearly $6 million in restitution and has served nearly five years of a 16-to-32-year prison sentence.

In a 3-to-2 decision, the court reduced his sentence to 8-1/2-to-17 years on Tuesday. He could get out of prison as early as 2011.