An Opelousas man this week was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison for his role in an international fraud scheme that bilked U.S. banks and people, officials said.

Nelson Durald, 49, also was ordered by U.S. District Judge Richard Haik to pay restitution to victims of the counterfeit financial instruments scheme that netted Durald $247,829. U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said.

Durald was sentenced Thursday after pleading 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.

The scheme employed a phony secret shopper program in which victims cashed worthless program checks at banks and mailed a portion back to Durald and his partners, Finley said.

The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office and federal Homeland Security agents investigated the case prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers P. Namie.