Three men who met in prison stole nearly a half-million dollars worth of jewelry and murdered the owner. A man from the Hudson Valley was the mastermind.

Mark Vuono, the owner of Marco Jewelers in Stamford, was shot and killed during a robbery in March of 2020.

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Last week, Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that 65-year-old Thomas Liberatore of White Plains was sentenced to 32 years in federal prison.

Liberatore has a lengthy criminal history, officials note. Before the Marco Jewelers murder, he spent about 30 years in prison.

Liberatore has been detained since his arrest on April 1, 2020. On December 19, 2022, a jury found Liberatore of interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act robbery) and interstate transportation of stolen property. Liberatore was also found guilty of aiding and abetting the use of a firearm to cause a death during a robbery.

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The U.S. Attorney's Office says Liberatore was the mastermind behind the robbery at Marco Jewelers, located at 16 Sixth Street in Stamford, Connecticut, on March 28, 2020.

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Between $360,000 and $430,000 worth of jewelry was stolen during the robbery. 63 rings, eight bracelets, two tie pins, an earring and a cufflink, 23 pairs of earrings and three rings were stolen from the store.

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Liberatore stole jewelry as Robert Rallo of New York City engaged in a physical altercation with the store's owner, Vuono.

During a struggle, Rallo shot and killed Vuono with the .357 revolver. Rallo was sentenced to 40 years in prison in March 2023.

A third man, the getaway driver, Paul Prosano of Brooklyn, New York was sentenced to 30 years for driving the three to and from the scene.

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Liberatore met Rallo and Prosano while incarcerated within the New York State Department of Corrections.

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