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CU System briefs (09/03/2009)
* HARTFORD, Conn. (9/4/09)--A bookkeeper for the now-defunct Meriden (Conn.) Franco-American CU pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $743,000 from the credit union. Melissa Laliberte, 39, of Wallingford pleaded guilty to embezzlement and filing a false income tax return. The credit union was placed into liquidation in July 2008 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). At the time it had 206 members and less than $340,000. Prosecutors said Laliberte withdrew her salary multiple times each month; took loan payments from members to pay personal expenses; failed to post cash withdrawals from her and her husband's accounts; and falsified deposits to the accounts. She was ordered to pay restitution to NCUA, plus back taxes, penalities and interest to the Internal Revenue Service. Laliberte faces up to 30 years in prison and a maximum $1 million fine (WTIC.com and Associated Press Newswires Sept. 2) … * LIMA, Ohio (9/4/09)--A defendant's outburst in a courtroom and his family's reaction at his sentencing for a credit union robbery resulted in the family's eviction from the courtroom. Shortly before he was sentenced to the maximum 26 years in prison for robbing a bank and Superior FCU, Lima, Devonne Wilson cursed the judge and jury. His family began yelling and were evicted. Wilson calmed down and politely asked for an appeal. He was convicted of aggravated robbery with a gun in the March 9 holdup of Chase Bank and the March 20 robbery of Superior FCU. Wilson also was ordered to pay $19,000 in restitution to the two institutions (The Lima News Sept. 3) … * HARRISBURG, Pa. (9/4/09)--U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.), left, was welcomed by Erie FCU President/CEO and Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) board member Norb Kaczmarek, right, during her recent visit to the credit union. They discussed several credit union issues but focused primarily on the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosures (CARD) Act and the act's effect on Erie FCU, and the costs associated with health reform. PCUA said Dahlkemper is a strong supporter of credit unions and has co-sponsored multiple credit union measures, including member business lending (Life is a Highway Sept. 2). (Photo provided by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association) … * KANSAS CITY, Mo. (9/4/09)--More than a dozen Kansas City-area
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credit unions met with U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) Aug. 26 in Kansas City. Concerns about the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosures (CARD) Act dominated the discussion, reported the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA). Credit unions explained how the CARD Act hurts some consumers by including open-end lending. He indicated he would check into the issue (The Missouri difference Aug. 28). From left are Don Cohenour, MCUA; Suzie Sifuentes, Burlington Northtown Community CU; Pat Yokley, CommunityAmerica CU; Glenna Osborn, Missouri Central CU; Rep. Graves; Phil Weber, Central Communications CU; James Spafford, Postal and Community CU; and Rob Givens, Mazuma CU. Also attending from MCUA were Jean Hadley, Amy McLard and Peggy Nalls. (Photo provided by the Missouri Credit Union Association) … * SALT LAKE CITY (9/4/09)--Mountain America CU employees helped "Fill the Bus" to raise money and take donations of school supplies for students of an elementary school that was damaged by fire a month and half ago. Volunteers from the credit union and the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Tooele, Utah, collected the items to replace items lost in the blaze at Grantsville Elmentary. More than $1,500 was raised. The fire occurred after teachers had set up their classrooms for the coming year and all their supplies were destroyed …


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