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CU System briefs (07/15/2011)
* WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (7/18/11)--A tip to would-be credit union robbers: Don't take a cell phone photo of yourself brandishing the weapon and leave it behind when abandoning the getaway car. That's what happened when two men entered West Lafayette, Ind.-based Purdue FCU on May 24 and displayed weapons. One robber jumped on the counter, demanding cash. One suspect placed a handgun against an employee's chest. The robbers fled with the money in a dark sport utility vehicle (SUV), which police later found abandoned. Both men also left their cell phones in the vehicle. One phone had several photos of a handgun and a man pointing the weapon at the camera. Christopher A. Whirl, 24, Chicago, a co-owner of the abandoned SUV, was arrested and charged with one count of armed robbery and one count of theft. Xxavier Jones, 25, also of Chicago, is still at large. Police said they think the photo is of Jones (Journal & Courier July 15) … * DETROIT (7/18/11)--Dante DeMiro, 44, who pleaded guilty to operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded an Iowa credit union, a bank , municipalities, school districts and trade unions, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison for bank and wire fraud. The Milford, Mich., man also was ordered to pay restitution of nearly $13 million he received by "investing" funds in "low-risk certificates of deposit" through MuniVest Financial Group and MuniVest Services LLC. Instead, he used the money to buy real estate and luxury items, pay other investors, make loans and gamble. He regularly sent victims fake investment summary reports. The frauds occurred from 2007 to 2010 (Detroit Free Press July 13 and Chicago Tribune July 12) … * POTTSVILLE, Pa. (7/18/11)--A former employee of Hidden River CU, Pottsville, Pa., was sentenced Wednesday to six to 23 months in prison for embezzling more than $58,000. Jennifer L. Doyle, 31, pleaded guilty June 2 to theft by deception, tampering with records and misapplying entrusted, government or financial institution property. She also was ordered to pay more than $58,295 in restitution as well as costs and $50 to the Criminal Justice Enhancement Account. Court records indicated she took investment checks and instead of allocating them to the correct account, deposited them in her personal accounts and used several methods to hide the deposits ( July 14) … * HAGERSTOWN, Md. (7/18/11)--Ongoing Operations, a credit union service organization (CUSO) and CUNA Strategic Services provider, has announced the election of its new board of manager officers. Jeff Goff, vice president of administration for HEW FCU, Alexandria, Va., was elected chairman; Bruno Sementilli, CEO of Quorum FCU, Purchase, N.Y., was elected vice chair; Jeff Arvai, CEO of Transportation FCU, Washington, D.C., was re-elected secretary; and Sean Zimmermann, vice president operations & technology of Tower FCU, Laurel, Md., was re-elected treasurer. The CUSO, originally founded by several credit unions in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, is celebrating its fifth anniversary this summer. It offers a full range of business continuity solutions for credit unions nationwide … * FORT WORTH, Texas (7/18/11)--American Airlines FCU (AA CU), based in Fort Worth, Texas, will implement Bounce ProtectionPlus, an overdraft program that allows members to reduce their overdraft fee to a penny in many situations, the $5.2 billion asset credit union announced (PR Newswire July 13). Instead of charging the standard $25 fee each time a member has an overdraft, AA CU it will charge one cent if the member either corrects the overdraft before 10 p.m. CT the same day or has a small overdraft that did not take the end-of-day account balance into the negative by more than $10. "We know that our members occasionally have an emergency or make a small error when balancing their checking account," said Nancy Crouch, AA CU's director of card services. "And we believe that a small mistake shouldn't result in a big penalty," she added. The changes apply to all debit card and ATM transactions on checking accounts that have opted-in to the service …

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