• Published

A Florida woman was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $423,434 in restitution to M&T Bank.

Michelle Vinas, 55, had previously been convicted of financial institution fraud for her role in a $24 million fraud affecting nine banks across the country. M&T lost $4.4 million.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross said Vinas was an employee of the Federal Guaranty Mortgage Company in Florida and was responsible for the underwriting of fraudulent loans later financed by M&T and others.

Frank Garcia, the owner of Federal Guaranty Mortgage, also was convicted and is awaiting sentencing. The convictions are the result of an FBI investigation.

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