A St. Louis pastor who admitted in federal court that he defrauded and filed a false tax return in connection with a million-dollar investment fraud scheme was sentenced to more than four years in prison Tuesday.

In March, 53-year-old Mark Q. Stafford of O'Fallon Missouri pleaded guilty to mail fraud and filing a false tax, and on Tuesday, he was sentenced to 51 months in prison.

A press release from the United States Attorney's Office of Easter Missouri said Stafford scammed 31 people out of more than $1 million. He also admitted to filing a false tax return in 2010 and failing to file a tax return in 2011 and 2013.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.