GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (1/29/09)--A former boat broker accused of defrauding banks and credit unions in Michigan of $27 million pleaded not guilty Tuesday in a U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, Mich. Michael Vorce, former owner of Michigan West Yachts, is charged with a 15-count indictment related to convincing two credit unions and eight banks to loan him millions for boats that didn't exist in a "Ponzi" scheme (Grand Rapids Press Jan. 28). Among the 10 institutions defrauded are Lake Michigan CU, which lost $4.7 million, and Michigan State University FCU, which lost $4.7 million. Other institutions lost from $200,135 to $9.2 million. The bank fraud charges each carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines. Vorce also is charged with three counts of money laundering, one count of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. About $9 million of the stolen funds has been recovered.