Nation: Account Settled

Sindona guilty of bank fraud

He was known to rivals as "mysterious Michele" for his deft behind-the-scenes maneuvers. Son of a Sicilian farm worker, Michele Sindona, 59, worked his way up to become the legal and financial adviser to important Italian companies, the Vatican and, some say, the Mafia. Creating his own holding company, he amassed a $450 million fortune. In 1972 Sindona purchased controlling interest in Long Island's Franklin National Bank, the 20th largest in the U.S. Two years later, Franklin National collapsed, the biggest bank failure in U.S. history, and the Government blamed mysterious Michele.

The U.S. charged that Sindona had...

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