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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ex Kansas City credit union manager admits embezzling nearly $400,000

A former manager of The Kansas City Star’s credit union pleaded guilty today in federal court to embezzling nearly $400,000 during a four-year period.
Joyce Buchanan, 55, of Kansas City, waived her right to have the case heard by a grand jury, and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Kansas City to charges of bank fraud and theft from a credit union.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of up to 60 years in prison. A sentencing date will be scheduled later.
According to federal prosecutors, Buchanan engaged in the fraud scheme from late 2002 to early 2007 while branch manager at Media First Credit Union, which is now First Financial Credit Union, located in The Star’s building at 1729 Grand Blvd.
She admitted to embezzling nearly $200,000 and falsely telling the credit union that she made another $200,000 in loans to individuals when she actually pocketed the money for her own use.
A federal judge sentenced a Claycomo woman to two years in prison Wednesday for embezzling nearly $400,000 from the credit union that she managed.

Joyce Buchanan, 56, pleaded guilty to theft and bank fraud in May, admitting that she took almost $200,000 from a credit union that serves employees of The Kansas City Star.

She also made $426,678 in improper loans to non-members of the credit union. Of those loans, more than $268,000 is in default. Most of the fraudulent loans were referrals from her son, prosecutors said.

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