Man sentenced for fraudulent boat loans

Published online: Nov 02, 2009 News
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A Michigan man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud and other charges for taking out millions of dollars in loans for boats he never bought.

Michael Vorce was sentenced last week on charges of bank fraud, money laundering and income tax offenses. He admitted to multiple criminal violations, including defrauding $9.2 million from Macatawa Bank, according to media reports.

Vorce, 32, pleaded guilty in June. In his guilty plea, he explained the scheme, where he secured loans for at least 30 boats with fraudulent documents and titles when he owned just four boats.

He said he used computer software to create fake documents - some pumping up the value of boats - as part of his West Michigan Yachts company, which supposedly specialized in buying distressed boats at wholesale and reselling them at retail.

In addition to the 12-year sentence, Vorce was ordered to serve a three-year term of supervision after his release and pay restitution in the amount of nearly $25 million.

In all, Vorce admitted that his fraud of Macatawa and other financial institutions led to losses in excess of $20 million, prosecutors said.

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