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CU System briefs (04/06/2009)
* NORTH PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (4/7/09)--TruMark Financial CU has opened a new branch to reach underserved residents of a predominantly Latino community in North Philadelphia (Life Is A Highway April 3). The branch was developed with partners that include Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha (APM), which was turned down by several banks before approaching TruMark. The community has lacked a financial services provider for almost 60 years. Participating in the opening ceremony were, from left, Mike Wishnow, senior vice president of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA); Pennsylvania Secretary of Banking Steve Kaplan; TruMark CEO Mark Stipa; TruMark Board Chair Hugh Bray; and PCUA Vice President Christina Mihalik. (Photo provided by Pennsylvania Credit Union Association) … * SPRING GROVE, Pa. (4/7/09)--Glatco CU recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open a student credit union branch at Spring Grove High School. Student Melissa Pendleton, right, was the first to open an account at the branch, assisted by Teller Missy Altland and CEO Bill Bowker. The student branch and a cooperative store located nearby help boost financial education for high school students (Life Is A Highway April 3). David Stricker, superintendent of the Spring Grove School District, noted that Glatco CU has close ties to the community, including several board and staff members who are Spring Grove High alumni. Spring Grove joins 21 other student branches operating in the state. (Photo provided by Pennsylvania Credit Union Association) … * ABILENE, Texas (4/7/09)--Abilene Teachers FCU has presented $95,000 raised by its holiday “Skip-a-Payment” program to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Abilene. Members who elected to skip one or two loan payments in the months of November, December or January paid a fee of $10 per month (Reporternews.com April 3). During its six-year history, the “Skip-a-Payment” program has raised more than $400,000 for Abilene’s Boys and Girls Clubs, which will use the 2009 gift to provide summer programs and support operating costs. Abilene Teachers CEO James Boyd said credit union members look forward to the event all year … * DALLAS (4/7/09)--U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor has sentenced the former president of the defunct Texas Department of Transportation-Wichita Falls CU to 71 months in prison (Times Record News April 3). Joanna Lynn McGee must also pay restitution of $2.6 million for embezzling at least $850,000 from the credit union for herself, family members and friends from 2001 to 2008. McGee, 40, used names from dormant accounts and dead members to obtain 129 fictitious loans worth approximately $3 million during the seven-year period. During the sentencing, Reed told McGee that she “crashed an entire credit union” (Texomashome.com April 3). Mandi Nicole Shook, another credit union employee who has pleaded guilty to embezzlement in the same case, still awaits sentencing … * GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (4/7/09)--The former general manager of Plainwell Community FCU has been ordered to serve nearly four years in prison for money laundering and embezzlement. Ronald Alan Tran, 45, also must pay almost $1 million in restitution for money channeled from the credit union into personal accounts. Discovery of a fraudulent loan approval led authorities to uncover Tran’s embezzlement, which occurred over a four-year period …


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