A former senior federal government official was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison for fast-tracking immigration applications in exchange for money.

Diane Serre, 41, was accused of fraud and embezzlement while employed at Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Police said the senior official used her influence within the ministry to expedite the immigration application process in exchange for up to $25,000.

Serre was arrested with four others in December 2004 after an 11-month investigation.