Christian Allmendinger of Houston was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Richmond.
Prosecutors had sought a 125-year prison term. His attorney had called that recommendation "wildly disproportionate" and had asked for a term of 10 to 12 years.
A jury convicted Allmendinger of seven counts of fraud and money laundering in March. Allmendinger was the co-founder of Houston-based companies known as A&O that bought life insurance policies from insured people at less than face value and promised investors hefty returns when those people died and the benefits were paid.
However, A&O allowed policies to lapse and more than 800 investors in some three dozen states and Canada lost money.