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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Credit Union CEO Sentenced in Embezzlement Plea Deal

Anne Schaal, the former president/CEO of the $1.9 million, 492-member Aurora Firefighters Credit Union, will spend 30 days in jail for embezzling more than $36,000 from the Aurora, Ill.-based institution.

Schaal was also sentenced to 150 days in electronically-monitored home detention and three years on probation for the criminal activity that took place between January 2006 and November 2011, according the Kane County Attorney’s office in St. Charles, Ill.

As part of a plea deal with the Kane County prosecutors, the 67-year-old Schaal pleaded guilty to one felony count of theft on Feb. 14 in Kane County Court.

A gambling addiction led Schaal to steal from the credit union as well as lose more than $580,000 that belonged to her and her husband, according to The Daily Herald, a Chicago suburban newspaper. In court documents, according to the newspaper, Schaal acknowledged that she became addicted to gambling.

The former CEO also was ordered to pay more than $4,000 in fines, to undergo a psychological evaluation and to have no contact with the credit union, according to the Kane County State’s Attorney office and local media reports.

Schaal was arrested September 2012 on theft and misuse of credit card charges. At that time, she denied the charges and was scheduled to stand trial in March.

The Aurora Firefighters CU also filed a civil lawsuit against Schaal, claiming she stole the money and posted “phantom payments” to the credit union’s ledger, according to The Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper.

The lawsuit was dismissed in September 2013 after the credit union and Schaal agreed to an out-of-court settlement.

Though Schaal made a payment to the credit union to settle its claims for damages, a lawyer representing Aurora Firefighters CU declined to say how much Schaal has paid, The Daily Herald reported.

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