Ex-student Hakan Yalincak must also pay back $4.18 million in restitution to his investors after being found guilty of bank and wire fraud.
It was revealed that Mr Yalincak had posed as a scion of a moneyed Turkish family and had sent counterfeit checks around the world.
Furthermore, to lend credence to his scam and pass himself off as a wealthy philanthropist, he also donated $1.25 million of the money he had accrued from investors to his former college New York University.
Mr Yalincak's 52-year-old mother Ayferafet was also found to be involved in the scam in an earlier hearing and was given a two-year prison sentence.
Commenting on the outcome, Mr Yalincak said "I made significant errors of judgment. If I could go back and take back what I've done I'd do it in a heartbeat."
It is thought that the duo may be deported to Turkey once they have finished their sentences.