- Associated Press - Thursday, April 24, 2014

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - A South Texas woman who scammed financial clients by using an actor pretending to be a wealthy investor has been sentenced to more than three years in prison.

A federal judge in Galveston on Thursday sentenced Kimberly Fontenot of Brazoria County on fraud convictions and ordered her to repay more than $115,000.

Prosecutors say about 20 people were victims in the wire and identity fraud scheme associated with a firm called Stellar Grants Inc.

Investigators say Fontenot in 2012 lured clients by falsely claiming to know numerous wealthy people - she called them “angel investors,” but barred the victims from contacting them.

Authorities say Fontenot hired a voice actor to impersonate the bogus investors during conference calls.