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CU System briefs (02/23/2011)
* WHEELING, W. Va. (2/24/11)--The former CEO of the now defunct Central Valley FCU, Wheeling, W. Va., was sentenced Wednesday to nine years in prison for embezzling at least $5 million from the credit union. Bernie D. Metz, 58, pleaded guilty to embezzlement and money laundering charges in January 2010. She was arrested after it was discovered that more than $9 million was missing from the $17 million asset credit union. Officials said she diverted the proceeds to finance the building of a restaurant, home improvements, expensive cars for family members, and payment of credit card debt. Metz's husband, Everett, and their children will not face charges as a result of Metz's plea bargain. U.S. District Judge Frederick P. Stamp also ordered her to pay $4.85 million in restitution. After serving the prison term, she will be on supervised release for five years (News-Register Feb. 23) … * BANGOR, Maine (2/24/11)--Robert Ferguson, 48, of Lowell, Mass., was sentenced to 10 years and one month in prison for robbing ll banks and credit unions in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine between April and July 2010 (Bangor Daily News Feb. 22). The credit unions--Digital FCU, Tyngsboro, Mass.; Pawtucket CU, Warwick, R.I.; and Rockland FCU, North Attleboro, Mass.--were robbed in May. Ferguson, a bus driver, committed the robberies along his bus route. He pleaded guilty in October to four counts of bank robbery, two counts of credit union robbery, four counts of armed bank robbery and one count of armed credit union robbery. In each incident and sometimes armed with a realistic looking toy gun, he threatened to kill an employee. He personalized the crime on several occasions by telling managers of the financial institutions he followed them home and knew where they lived. He also was sentenced to five years of supervised release after the prison term and ordered to pay more than $81,000 in restitution … * ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. (2/24/11)--An ATM owned by CFE FCU and located in Altamonte Springs, Fla., was the site of two robberies by baseball-wielding bandits on Feb. 3 and Feb. 7. The robberies occurred at 8:25 p.m. and 9:50 p.m., respectively. In each incident, three men dressed in all black and wearing bandanas confronted customers. Both times the culprits were armed with a bat and ordered the customers to withdraw funds from the ATM. CFE FCU is based in Lake Mary, Fla., and has more than $1.1 billion in assets (Orlando Sentinel Feb. 22) … * LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (2/24/11)--Melinda K. Riddle, 38, of Leavenworth, Kan., has pleaded guilty to the theft of $56,000 from Mainstreet CU, where she worked during 2009. She was charged with theft and computer crime. Riddle admitted using the credit union's computers to withdraw money from members' accounts and from the credit union's accounts. She also obtained unauthorized loans and money from checks. Her sentencing is scheduled for April 1 (Associated Press Newswires Feb. 22) … * KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (2/24/11)--U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) helped Southern Select Community CU open its newly relocated branch in Concord, N.C., Feb. 14, reported the North Carolina Credit Union League (Weekly Update Feb. 18). In a press release to local media, Kissell called attention to the branch opening and indicated his support for credit unions and businesses. "Kissell has been a strong advocate for credit unions, allowing community members to safely invest their money local," said the press release. "Kissell has also pushed for increased access to capital for small businesses, which credit unions have played a vital role in providing," it continued. Southern Select Community CU President/CEO Huyla Jackson, noting that the Branchview location will help the credit union to deepen its commitment in Concord and serve members more conveniently, thanked Kissell for joining in the "special day of growth and celebration" (Weekly Update Feb. 18) …


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