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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Buhach football coach guilty of bank embezzlement begins sentence in California

An assistant high school football coach and former loan officer this week began his 10-month sentence after pleading guilty to felony charges of grand theft by embezzlement.

Sammy C. Parker, 64, a well-known assistant football coach at Buhach Colony High School in Atwater, surrendered Tuesday at the Merced County jail. He was ordered to serve 10 months behind bars, but his jail time was converted to electronic monitoring, the Merced County District Attorney’s Office said.

Parker’s convictions stem from his career as a loan officer.

Judge Ronald W. Hansen approved the 10-month sentence, which also includes three years of probation and an order to repay all of the victims in the case, according to Merced Superior Court records.

Parker is allowed to leave his home for limited activities only, such as going to work or doctor’s appointments, according to Deputy District Attorney Walter Wall, the prosecutor in the case.

He pleaded guilty Nov. 19, 2013, to two felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement in connection with the theft of more than $13,000 from 36 victims between at least from August 2011 to January 2013 during his time as loan officer at International City Mortgage and the Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corp. in Merced.

Parker said when reached at home Tuesday that he feels “really remorseful.”

“It was not my intention to hurt people, but unfortunately I did,” Parker said. “I’m just trying to square what I did with the people who were hurt.”

Wall said Parker will repay the victims all of what was stolen by June 24.

“He’s already repaid more than half of the restitution,” Wall said.

In exchange for Parker’s plea, prosecutors dismissed 25 additional charges, according to court records.

“With the payment of restitution and the felony convictions, I feel that justice was served in this case,” Wall said.

According to reports filed by District Attorney Investigator Anna Hazel, Parker claimed he took the money because his family was struggling financially, and felt International City Mortgage was not paying him fairly and believed they owed him the money.

Investigators said Parker asked borrowers to write $400 checks for “appraisal fees,” telling clients to leave the “payee” portion of the check blank. He promised to fill out the name himself once an appraisal company was selected, but instead put his own name on the checks and deposited them.

International City Mortgage fired Parker Jan. 24, 2013, and contacted the District Attorney’s Office, the report says.

Parker was arrested Aug. 5.

Aside from his loan officer career, Parker has been an assistant football coach at Buhach Colony High School for the past six years. Before his stint in Atwater, Parker was an assistant coach at Golden Valley High School for several years.

Parker said he plans on returning to the sidelines next season. “I hope so, at least that’s been the plan with this whole thing,” Parker said.

Head coach Kevin Navarra did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Parker said he wants to focus on “setting things right” by repaying the victims.

“Life is about making choices,” Parker said. “Unfortunately, that was a very bad choice on my part and I’m very remorseful for what took place.”

Read more here:

Credit Union Manager Cops to $175K Embezzlement in Kansas

In U.S. District Court in Topeka, Kan., former credit union manager Karolyn J. Stattelman pleaded guilty Tuesday to theft of credit union funds, admitting she embezzled $93,500.
Stattelman, 42, of Topeka, manipulated accounts at the merged $1.5 million Jayhawk FCU in Lawrence for money orders, share drafts, ATM and returned checks to conceal her theft, according to federal prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Topeka.
Earlier this year, because of Jayhawk FCU’s poor financial condition, the NCUA approved the cooperative’s consolidation with the $226 million Mid American Credit Union in Wichita.
The 1,092-member credit union posted a net worth of -5% as of Dec. 31, 2013, compared to a peer average of 18%, according to NCUA financial performance reports.
Last year, Jayhawk FCU reported a net loss of $260,047. Though the credit union posted a net gain of $1,692 in 2012 and $1,684 in 2011, it reported net losses to the NCUA of $68,461 in 2010 and $42,409 in 2009.
Stattelman also admitted to allowing a teller steal $81,000 from the credit union, federal prosecutors said.
The teller, Christi Marie Hout, 38, of Lawrence, pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Topeka to one count of theft of credit union funds.
In her plea, Hout admitted to writing checks on her personal account and her husband’s business account, and then posting ATM debits when there were insufficient funds in the accounts to cover the transactions, according to federal prosecutors.
Hout used credit union funds to pay personal expenses, and admitted she Stattelman was covering up the thefts, federal prosecutors said.
Sentencing hearings have yet to be scheduled for Stattelman and Hout, federal prosecutors said. They each face a maximum of 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ex Credit Union Head Charged with Embezzlement, Bank Fraud, ID Theft in Virginia

A federal grand jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke has charged the former manager of the Lynrocten Federal Credit Union in Lynchburg (LFCU) with embezzlement, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges.

In and indictment returned under seal on June 5, 2014, and unsealed today following the defendant’s initial court appearance, the grand jury has charged Linda Sue Newcomb, 62, of Madison Heights, Virginia, with one count of embezzlement of funds from a federal credit union, four counts of bank fraud, and three counts of aggravated identity theft.

In January 2014, the former head teller of LFCU, Teresa Wieringo Humphries, 58, of Madison Heights, Virginia, waived her right to be indicted and pled guilty to an information charging her with one count of embezzlement by an employee of a federal credit union.

The indictment alleges that in or about 2000, Ms. Newcomb, who was hired by the LFCU in the mid-1980s, and the former head teller at the bank, Teresa Humphries, carried out a scheme to defraud, embezzle, and steal funds from LFCU’s deposits and accounts.

It was part of the scheme that Newcomb and Humphries originated loans in the names of LFCU members without those members’ knowledge or consent. Newcomb and Humphries drafted fictitious loan documentation and approved the fictitious loans in order to make false loans look legitimate.

In addition, the indictment alleges that from on or about October 22, 2009 and continuing to on or about October 6, 2011, Newcomb entered into Loan Participation Agreements with another federal credit union. In furtherance of the loan participation scheme, Newcomb, on behalf of LFCU, sold various fraudulent loans. In order to persuade the partner credit union to enter into the Loan Participation Agreement, Newcomb made various false statements to make the loans involved appear to be authentic and legitimate.

The value of the fraudulent loans involved in the loan participation scheme was in excess of $1 million.

The indictment also alleges that Newcomb and Humphries transferred funds and wrote checks on certain LFCU members’ accounts without their knowledge or consent. At least three different accounts are alleged to have been used by the two defendants. Certain proceeds from the schemes were deposited to the LFCU bank accounts of Newcomb, Humphries, and their family members or were used by the two defendants to make “payments” to other fraudulent loans.

In order to conceal the unauthorized use of LFCU member accounts, and in furtherance of the scheme, Newcomb and Humphries altered and withheld LFCU member statements.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Lynchburg City Police Department, and the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Anthony Giorno and Daniel Bubar are prosecuting the case for the United States.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Woman arrested for embezzlement charges in Michigan

The Iron Mountain Police Department has arrested a woman on embezzlement charges.

On June 13, Iron Mountain Police Department received a complaint from the First National Bank and Trust North Side Branch in reference to embezzlement of money. Officials investigated this claim and learned that over $10,000 had been stolen. As a result of the investigation and a review of the complaint by Dickinson County Prosecutor Lisa Richards, 67-year-old Josephine Novara of Breitung Township was arrested.

She was arrested on one count of embezzlement from a financial institution, a felony which, if convicted, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Officials say that she Novara was released on $10,000 Personal Recognizance Bond, and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in District Court on July 2 at 8:15 a.m.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Assistant Bank Branch Manager Charged with Bank Fraud

Erlanda Naranjo, 39, of Nashville, Tennessee, was charged by Information, filed yesterday, with bank fraud, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. According to the Information, while employed at a bank, the defendant submitted a false application for a business line of credit in the name of a relative. That relative neither owned a business nor authorized Naranjo to apply for credit in her name. The bank ultimately approved the application, and sustained a loss of more than $95,000, when the line of credit was charged up and not repaid.
If convicted the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 30 years in prison, a five-year period of supervised release, a $1,000,000 fine and a $100 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Abrams.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Credit union head from East Alton admits embezzlement

 The former president of a credit union pleaded guilty to bank fraud and admitted using his bank position to cover up his theft from a trade association, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Paul C. Smith, 54, of East Alton, began working for the Laclede Community Credit Union in November 1977 and resigned as president on June 29, 2012, prosecutors said.

He was also treasurer of a credit union trade association.

Prosecutors say Smith used the association's credit card to get cash and make purchases totaling $58,286 from 2007 to 2012, then used the bank's computers to conceal the theft and ensure that the expenses would not be incurred by the association.

Smith was indicted Nov. 20 and pleaded guilty Monday.

Greenacres woman charged in bank fraud scheme

Lisa Ollis, 38, of Greenacres, has been charged with grand theft, forgery and organized scheme to defraud. She was arrested Tuesday and released Wednesday afternoon after posting $10,000 bond.
Two other women involved have been charged.
The scheme went into motion in October 2011, according to the report. Ollis told police that she met with a man who said he knew a TD Bank employee that could “take care of (her)”.
On October 24, Ollis went to a TD Bank at 1601 W. Boynton Beach Blvd., where she was expected to cash a check and bring the man money. She withdrew $53,281 that day, according to the report. On a separate occasion, she withdrew $9,850.
According to the report, the money was stolen from a woman’s inactive account — it had gone dormant the previous September. According to the report, Islande Dort, who was arrested June 13 as a suspect in the case and posted bond that same day, deposited $200 into the account on October 20, 2011, reactivating it.
After Dort’s original deposit, a total of $87,581 was withdrawn from the victim’s account, according to the affidavit.
Jessica Cruz-Torres, a suspect in the scheme who was arrested June 10 and posted bond the same day, said that during one withdrawal, she accompanied Ollis. She was told to hand two pieces of paper to a bank employee, who in return gave her an envelope with cash and checks amounting to either $500 or $700. Cruz-Torres identified Ollis in a surveillance video of her withdrawals.