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CU System briefs (09/05/2012)
  • PHILADELPHIA (9/6/12)--Ignacio "Nacho" Morales, 49, former manager of the now defunct Borinquen FCU in North Philadelphia, has pleaded guilty in a U.S. District Court  in Philadelphia to conspiracy, embezzlement, money laundering, and tax and drug charges (The Philadelphia Inquirer Sept. 5). The charges relate to a $2.3 million embezzlement which led to the credit union's collapse last year. The credit union had served North Philadelphia's Hispanic community for decades and had 7,000 members at the time it was shuttered by the National Credit Union Administration.  More than $5 million was missing, said the article. From 2006 to 2011, Morales allegedly cashed hundreds of tax-refund checks issued for fraudulent tax returns and kept 20% of the refund. From 2008 to 2011 he allegedly collected about $50,000 a month in kickbacks from one person who dropped off illegal refund checks each week from people who were not members of the credit union. He also was accused of taking $600,000 in cash from the credit union to buy real estate and bilking $700,000 from an organization that deposited $1.7 million in the credit union. Morales is cooperating with authorities investigating others' roles in the fraud. He faces 10 years in prison but could receive a shorter sentence based on cooperation with investigators, said attorneys in the case …
  • DEARBORN, Mich. (9/6/12)--An armed, 46-year old credit union robbery suspect was chased by police and arrested after crashing his alleged get-away vehicle into a Garden City, Mich., house (Detroit Free Press Sept. 4). The man, a resident of Dearborn, allegedly entered a branch of the $3.3 billion asset DFCU Financial CU, Dearborn, Tuesday. The robber, who wore a mask and brandished a rifle, demanded cash from credit union employees. The man was followed by police and allegedly fired a shot after crashing the car into a neighborhood home. No one was in the residence, and no officers were hit by the shot. The unidentified suspect, who was then taken to a hospital after complaining of chest pains, said he would have fired more than one shot if his gun had not jammed …
  • LYNN, Mass. (9/6/12)--A judge set bail at $15,000 for a man who turned himself in after he allegedly robbed Salem, Mass.-based St. Jean's CU Lynn branch, to pay of a drug debt. David Morrissey was charged with intimidation to steal from a depository institution and armed robbery after allegedly passing a note to a teller demanding "big bills, no dye pack, bait money, GPS alarm after I leave," according to the Detroit Free Press (Sept. 4). The note said the man was armed and also had an "HIV/AIDS needle. The teller handed Morrissey $5,460 in cash. Morrissey then fled in a black pick-up truck with a yellow plow. After turning himself in, Morrissey told police a drug dealer had been threatening his family over a debt he owed …
  • ONTARIO, Calif. (9/6/12)--The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues recently earned a 2012 International Association of Business Communicators Pacific Plains Region Silver Quill Award for a 2011 annual meeting and convention marketing campaign. The campaign, whose theme was "Turning Point," earned an Award of Merit. Of the 36 Silver Quills awarded this year, 13 were Awards of Excellence, the top recognition given, and 23 were Awards of Merit. The region award competition included participation from more than 6,000 business communicators throughout the region. The campaign's primary objective was to increase the percentage of attendees at the leagues' annual meeting and convention in November in San Diego. The campaign also was designed to foster high participation. It encouraged members to "Find Your Turning Point" by attending the convention, and positioned it as an essential event for credit unions dealing with major changes in the industry. The conference saw an 11% increase in attendance from the 2010 event …


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