BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A 43-year-old former upstate New York bank vice president has been sentenced to 39 months in jail for fraud.

Michael Whipple of Williamsville also was ordered Wednesday to pay restitution of $5.3 million and will be placed on supervised release for three years after serving his sentence.

Federal prosecutors said that Whipple devised a scheme over five years to defraud M&T Bank through the creation of fraudulent loans. The loans were created in the names of credit-worthy entities, or made by the defendant to appear credit worthy, and then given to entities that Whipple chose.

Authorities said Whipple forged signatures and diverted mail to avoid detection. When clients noticed irregularities in loan accounts, Whipple created new loans as a cover-up similar to a Ponzi scheme.

(Story by: The Associated Press)