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CU System briefs (07/08/2008)
* HARRISBURG, Pa. (7/9/08)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) was expected to attend Gov. Ed Rendell's signing ceremony Tuesday for five mortgage reform bills. PCUA said Christina Mihalik, assistant vice president at the association, would attend the ceremony scheduled for noon in Reading. The bills protect homebuyers, strengthen oversight of the mortgage industry and end key lending practices that leave homeowners vulnerable to foreclosure, said the association (Life is a Highway July 8) … * HARRISBURG, Pa. (7/9/08)--The appointment of Joel S. Ario, acting Pennsylvania insurance commissioner, as Pennsylvania's new state insurance commissioner was unanimously approved Thursday by the state Senate (Life is a Highway July 8). Last year Gov. Ed. Rendell had nominated Ario, formerly chief insurance regulator of Oregon, but partisan differences over insurance delayed the confirmation. As acting commissioner, Ario was considering allowing a merger between Independence Blue Cross of Philadelphia and Highmark Inc. of Pittsburgh, the state's two largest health insurers … * SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (7/9/08)--Freedom CU issued new debit cards and personal identification numbers (PINs) to members after debit card data was electronically captured by individuals for use in a counterfeit scheme (The Republican July 2). In a letter to the affected members, the $315 million asset credit union said it had been notified that the members' card numbers were obtained during the arrest and indictment of individuals in Eastern Europe and the U.S. The existing cards will be coded as stolen as of Monday and their cards and PINs will be replaced … * LAS VEGAS (7/9/08)--A U.S. District Court judge in Las Vegas sentenced former Marine Edgar Alejandro Hermosillo of El Paso, Texas, Monday to 18 months in federal prison for stealing identities and looting accounts of Marines stationed in Iraq (Associated Press Newswires July 7). He was accused of using government computers at Camp Pendleton, Calif., to access accounts at Pacific Marine CU of at least 15 enlisted Marines. He pleaded guilty on April 2 to federal conspiracy, wire fraud and ID theft charges. An unidentified co-conspirator allegedly helped Hermosillo use false IDs at Western Union outlets to collect about $39,000 from 26 accounts. Hermosillo also was sentenced to five years of supervised probation after prison and ordered to repay the funds stolen and undergo mental health counseling … * BALTIMORE (7/9/08)--MECU of Baltimore Inc. President/CEO Bert J. Hash Jr., left, discusses book choices with a student during the credit union's annual distribution of books at six partner schools. For the past seven years, employees at MECU have collected books to distribute at the schools at the end of the school year to each student. In 2008, the team collected 3,730 books. Some employees give books their children have outgrown. Others scour yard sales and flea markets, and Goodwill. To help cover the costs, employees conducted a flea market at MECU's headquarters and seven branches and raised more than $800 to purchase books. Books that are too young for elementary school age children are donated to Our Daily Bread's Family Corner. (Photo provided by MECU of Baltimore Inc.) … * MIAMI (7/9/08)--National media tuned in to a two-county police chase Monday morning of a credit union robbery suspect in Doral, Fla., near Miami. The 10-minute chase from Miami-Dade County to Broward County and back attracted media helicopters who broadcast the pursuit. A national television morning program broadcast it Tuesday. The chase ended with the arrest of Terrence Clark, 31, of Miami. Clark, wielding a large stick, allegedly entered Dade County FCU at about 9:30 a.m. and demanded money from a teller, who complied. Police recovered the all the $7,500 taken (MiamiHerald.com July 8) …


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