FL woman going to jail for $24M fraud

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Florida woman is going to jail for financial institution fraud affecting M&T Bank.

Michelle Vinas, 55, is going to prison for 18 months and is ordered to pay restitution totaling $423,434.98, by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara.

U.S. Attorney William Hochul announced the sentencing Friday. Vinas was the employee of Federal Guaranty Mortgage Company based in Florida, and was responsible for the underwriting of loans. In once instance, Vinas provided the information to include on a loan application, and then approved the loan application that she knew was false.

As a result of the defendant’s actions, M&T Bank was one of nine financial institutions to suffer a loss and specifically suffered a loss of $4,407,515.48. The parties estimated that the total fraud scheme amounted to approximately $24,000,000.

Frank Garcia, the owner of Federal Guaranty Mortgage Company, has also been convicted in this case and is awaiting sentencing.

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