A New Zealander, an Israeli and two Britons have been convicted in Brazil of running an investment scam that fleeced victims around the world, officials said on Monday.

New Zealander Alan Craig Chard received a sentence of five years and 11 months, to be served in a semi-open prison, after being found guilty of fraud.

The Israeli, Doron Mukamal, was sentenced to 24 years and four months in prison for running the operation in Sao Paulo, which called investors around the world and got them to sign on to a fictitious scheme promising high returns, the Sao Paulo state prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Several properties Mukamal purchased in Sao Paulo with the money were confiscated. The judge found him guilty of fraud and money laundering.

The two Britons, John Patrick Trainor and James Michael McCann, received five years, 11 months sentences.

A Brazilian woman involved in the money laundering aspect of the trial, Barbara Cardoso de Mendonca Gomes, was given a three-year nine-month sentence converted to community service.

The prosecutor's office said it was appealing the acquittal of three other Brazilian women in the case.

The defendants had all been arrested in April last year in a money-laundering police raid in Sao Paulo following a year of telephone wiretaps by investigators.

Officials said the group operated a call centre that ripped off investors in Britain, Spain, Australia, the United States and several Asian countries to the tune of several million dollars.

The call centre was transferred to Argentina last year.

- NZPA