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Sarasota man sentenced in fraud case

A federal judge has sentenced a Sarasota developer to 41 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit loan fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.

Michael A. Tringali pleaded guilty to the charges in November 2008 under a deal with prosecutors, who recommended a lighter sentence for him and also agreed to drop 15 charges against the defendant.

U.S. District Judge James Whittemore also ordered Tringali to forfeit $6.9 million in assets as part of the sentencing.

Tringali was the owner of G & T Land Development LLC and Steeplechase Properties LLC, as well as part owner of Sarasota Grand Central LLC.

The entities purchased and developed commercial real estate in the area.

The indictment accused Tringali and others of bilking seven banks out of more than $83 million on several land sales in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Among the properties involved in the scheme were the 254-acre ACT Ranch and the 1,142-acre Rusty Pot Ranch, both in Myakka City; a 224-acre site off Taylor Road; and 20 acres in the Creekwood area at Interstate 75 and State Road 70.

In his plea deal, Tringali admitted that he lied to bank officials in order to obtain financing to develop those and other parcels. He acknowledged exaggerating his credit-worthiness,

A federal grand jury last July returned a 47-count indictment against Tringali; Neil Mohamed Husani, formerly of Sarasota; Larry P. Nardelli, a Tampa businessman; and John Yanchek, a Sarasota lawyer.

Yanchek has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, money laundering and making false statements to obtain a commercial bank loan, and awaits sentencing. A jury found Nardelli guilty of fraud in February.

Investigators said Husani, the alleged ringleader, bought seven parcels for $43 million and resold them to partners for $117 million. The partners obtained $82.8 million in bank loans from those transactions by overstating their assets and how much money they put into the deals.