RAYMORE, Mo. -- A former wedding photographer who tricked two dozen women into having sex with him was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips denied parole for Mario Ambrose Antoine, 34, of Raymore, Missouri, whose sentence was the result of a plea deal.
On May 12, Antoine pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, admitting that he defrauded numerous victims in a scheme that lasted from Aug. 28, 2011, until Oct. 11, 2016.
Antoine, posing in various roles as a company owner, recruiter, talent manager, photographer and videographer for multiple fictitious companies and private modeling websites such as Playboy Worldwide and “Playboy Asia, conned women into thinking they were auditioning for lucrative roles in pornographic films.
Antoine promised the women, who signed contracts and modeling release forms, they would be paid thousands of dollars for their modeling work.
Investigators identified more than two dozen women victimized in Antoine's scheme. Victims of the wire fraud scheme were promised payments cumulatively totaling at least $550,000 and as much as $1.5 million.
"He told me I had to audition ... and do several different sex acts (with him), which I did," said one victim WDAF interviewed in October.
When she hadn't received her money, she called Antoine, but he told her she had violated the terms of their contract.
"Oh, you don't get the money because you broke a rule of the contact by telling someone what you did," the woman said he told her, and at that point, she knew she'd been deceived.
Weeks and months would pass and none of the women were ever paid. When the women asked him about the money, they were given excuses.
Eventually, in many cases, Antoine engaged in a blackmail and extortion scheme.
He created fake Facebook profiles through which he contacted the friends, boyfriends or employers of these women and informed them the woman was a porn star.
The messages would often be accompanied by pictures of the women engaged in sexual activity.
Antoine has also defrauded brides and grooms out of wedding photos, limousine rides, deejays and other services, then violated his probation by defrauding another couple, according to WDAF.