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CU System briefs (01/08/2008)
* TACOMA, Wash.(1/9/08)--Tacoma-based Sound CU came out looking good when a couple's blog compared the final loan payment processes on two car loans--one at the credit union, the other at Rainier Pacific Bank across the street. The husband and wife split up for their respective institutions to pay off their loans and then regrouped. For their side-by-side comparison use the link. The credit union loan took fewer people to process, fewer checks written, and was completed 15 minutes before the bank loan … * RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (1/9/08)--Tuesday's USA Today featured a letter written by California Credit Union League staffer Melia (Meichelbock) Keller, manager of communications and marketing. The letter addressed an article from last week's issue titled "Mental toll of war hitting female service members." Keller wrote about her experiences in Iraq as a civil affairs sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve Special Operations Command. She received the Combat Action Badge, the Army Commendation Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for her service. Her experiences are detailed in her online journal and book … * AUSTIN, Texas (1/9/08)--An employee of LCRA CU, Austin, Texas, has been charged with robbery by threat after allegedly faking a robbery and bomb threat at the credit union Monday morning. Nathaniel Hamilton had told police that while in a restroom, a robber passed him a note saying he had a bomb and wanted a certain amount of money delivered to the restroom. A silent alarm was activated and the building evacuated. Police say Hamilton admitted staging the event and stealing money from the credit union (KVUE.com Jan. 8) … * NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (1/9/08)--Jacquelin Florentin Jr. of Newport News was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday on bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges stemming from using other people's Social Security numbers to open accounts at four financial institutions. The accounts were at lst Advantage CU, Newport News Shipbuilding Employees CU, Citizens and Farmers Bank and Langley FCU. The scheme ran between July 2006 and March 2007, said the U.S. Attorney's office. He allegedly cashed $2,400 in checks and used one of the accounts to back his purchase of a car. He agreed in October to plead guilty and faces up to 32 years in prison with fines of up to $1,250,000 (Daily Press Jan. 7) … * PHILADELPHIA (1/9/08)--Police are resorting to nicknames to help people identify serial robbers, says the Philadelphia Daily News (Jan. 8). The "Scarf-Face Bandit" covers his face with a scarf during each holdup. He held up Sun East FCU on Dec. 26 after pointing a gun at tellers and handing over a demand note. He fled with an undisclosed amount by jumping into the trunk of a waiting car. The Scarf-Face Bandit also held up the Earth Star Bank last Thursday … * HUNTINGTON, W. Va. (1/9/08)--A former employee of a credit union that merged in 2004 with Star USA FCU has been charged with embezzling at least $81,000 from both institutions. Susan Kelley was employed by Huntington Veterans Affairs FCU and then Star USA from November 1998 to March 2006. Money first was discovered missing in November 1998. According to court documents, the embezzlement occurred from November 1998 to March 2006. Prosecutors bypassed the grand jury and filed an information document on Dec. 27, which indicates a pre-indictment guilty plea (The Herald-Dispatch Jan. 2) …


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