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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Embezzling CEO Sentenced in Ohio

Bernie Metz, 57, former CEO of Center Valley Federal Credit Union, will have to repay NCUA over $4.65 million and pay $200,000 to a local organization in Ohio as part of her sentence for embezzlement.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced that Metz received 108 months imprisonment in addition to the financial parts of the sentence. She also had to surrender properties she purchased during her decade-long embezzlement, along with several vehicles and over $14,000.

As a result of the embezzlement, NCUA closed and liquidated the CU in 2009.

"The prison sentence imposed today upon Bernie Metz brings an end to her sophisticated scheme to defraud the Center Valley Federal Credit Union and its members," said Ihlenfeld. "She embezzled millions of dollars over the past ten years and used the credit union as her own personal piggy bank. Due to the convictions obtained in this matter, her opulent lifestyle has ended. Things will be much different for Bernie Metz behind bars, and she will no longer enjoy the life of luxury to which she had become accustomed."

Affidavits filed in the case showed that Metz used embezzled funds to start a business that included both a restaurant and motel run by her and her husband.

Ihnlenfeld also indicated that the crime has continued to reverberate in the lives of the former CU's members.

"While a number of former credit union members chose to meet with me and my staff in person to discuss their issues, I know that there are many more similarly situated people who still are having problems with their credit union accounts, whether they are upside-down on their automobile loans or they feel they are being unfairly harassed by collection calls," said Ihlenfeld. "My message to those people is to make sure that they fully explore all of their rights under state and federal law, and to make sure that their legal rights are not being violated in any way."

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