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Florida woman gets 18-month prison term for defrauding M&T Bank

A 64-year-old Florida woman Friday was ordered by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to serve an 18-month federal prison term and pay M&T Bank $415,282 for losses it suffered in a loan fraud scheme.

Elsy Alvarez, of Miramar, Fla., who was in charge of preparing loan packages the former Federal Guaranty Mortgage Co. sent to financial institutions, was convicted of wire fraud affecting a financial institution.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross, who prosecuted the Florida company for the fraud it perpetrated on the Buffalo-based bank, said Alvarez’s boss, Frank Garcia, 52, the former owner of Federal Guarantee Mortgage, pleaded guilty in May 2013 to fraud affecting a financial institution but has managed to get his sentencing adjourned repeatedly. Garcia, who may have defrauded nine financial institutions nationwide out of about $24 million, is facing a maximum federal prison term of 30 years and a $1 million fine or both, Ross said.

In her part of the criminal fraud ,Alvarez would sign multiple loan documents using multiple names in sending them to financial institutions, including M&T, Ross said. M&T suffered about $4.4 million in losses in the scam, the prosecutor said.