NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- A judge sentenced a woman whom federal prosecutors said faked her death in connection with an elaborate bank fraud scheme to four years in prison.

Prosecutors said 50-year-old Alexandra Hatcher conspired with her husband, Albert, to collect on life insurance policies the couple took out on Hatcher's life.

Investigators found that the Hatcher went to Washington state in 2015 and legally changed her name. After that, she and her husband submitted false death claims on at least two insurance policies, created fake death certificates, and had a death notice published in the Daily Press.

After insurers denied the Hatchers' claims, the husband and wife entered into a cross-country fraud scheme through which they fraudulently obtained at least 20 new and newer-used luxury vehicles.

Albert Hatcher, Jr. and Alexandra Hatcher
Albert Hatcher, Jr. and Alexandra Hatcher

Investigators said the Hatchers by presented worthless and counterfeit checks and forged documents to car dealerships in several states. The couple had the vehicles retitled these vehicles and then used them as collateral for loans and other vehicles. The Hatchers also resold vehicles to other dealerships for cash.

Hatcher used the legal name she adopted just prior to faking her death to purchase, title, and resell vehicles in furtherance of the scheme.

Hatcher and her husband entered guilty pleas on federal charges. Albert Hatcher, Jr. received a sentence of four years in prison on January 22.