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Aranjo sentenced to 4.5 years in CDCU embezzlement
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (9/26/08)--A former CEO convicted of embezzling $1.5 million from a now-defunct community development credit union in Springfield, Mass., was sentenced Thursday to 4.5 years in prison and ordered to make restitution totaling $1.4 million. Carol Aranjo, former CEO of D. Edward Wells CU, had been convicted of 44 charges, including embezzlement, conspiracy to embezzle, bank fraud, and filing false tax returns (Masslive.com and The Republican Newsroom Sept. 25). Her husband, Alphonso Smith, who was convicted of 10 charges, was to be sentenced later Thursday. U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor noted that Smith was responsible for between $200,000 and $400,000 in company losses. The embezzlements occurred through bogus transfers, issuance of "free" cashier's checks, and running accounts deeply in the red. The credit union was closed by federal regulators in 2003. At the time it had losses totaling about $3 million News Now Feb 8). Aranjo, who was a well-known advocate of community development credit unions, was removed as chair of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions in 1999 and she departed from the federation in 2000.


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