- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - An Opelousas man has been sentenced to 23 months in federal prison for his role in an international fraud scheme that victimized people and banks.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1lXyiCe ) that 49-year-old Nelson Durald was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Richard Haik.

U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said Haik also ordered Durald to pay restitution to victims of the counterfeit financial instruments scheme that netted Durald more than $247,000.

Durald pleaded guilty in March.

Finley said the scheme ran from the end of 2011 until June 2013 and involved co-conspirators in the U.S. and other countries.

She said the scheme employed a phony secret shopper program in which people cashed worthless program checks at banks and mailed a portion back to Durald and his partners.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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