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CU System briefs (07/11/2011)
* ATASCADERO, Calif. (7/12/11)--A virus in an phony e-mail purporting to be from the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) triggered an attempt to steal $83,000 through wire transfers from the city of Atascadero's account at Rabobank, the city said (The San Luis Obispo Tribune July 8). Three of the transfers--made on July 1 and adding up to $30,000--were sent to Tinker FCU, a $2.3 billion asset credit union based in Oklahoma City, Okla. Tinker does not do business with the city. Credit union employees flagged the transfers and informed the city about the transactions. The credit union will return the money to the city. Two other transfers made that day did not complete because of invalid account numbers. Another five unsuccessful attacks were mounted July 5 but were caught by Rabobank. The transfers in that attack were headed to financial institutions in California, Florida, Maryland and Pennsylvania … * SEATTLE (7/12/11)--Claudiu Tudor, 37, of Renton, Wash., was sentenced to five years in federal prison for fraud stemming from accessing consumers' bank accounts through skimming devices at ATMs and stealing more than $225,000 from 130 people. Tudor was convicted of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft, said the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle (The News Tribune July 9). The ATM skimming devices were placed at ATMs across the Puget Sound area, including at a Tukwila, Wash.-based BECU's branch in Puyallup. Tudor and a co-defendant installed the devices, along with tiny cameras to capture personal identification numbers (PINs) as they were keyed into the ATM. They used the information to make phony debit cards and raided consumers' accounts. They were caught after someone saw them loitering near an ATM in Woodinville and called the Sheriff's Office … * WHITEFISH, Mont. (7/12/11)--A former branch manager at Whitefish (Mont.) FCU was sentenced in a U.S. District Court in Missoula, Mont., Thursday to 30 days in a federal prison for embezzling nearly $677,000 from the credit union. Kathleen Sammons, 52, of Charlo, worked in the credit union's Polson branch, was charged with embezzlement and money laundering. She also was ordered to pay $676,872 in restitution and stay under supervised release for five years, including 17 months of home confinement. She told authorities she used Wite- Out to paint over the numbers in the daily cash counts, substituted other numbers and faxed the altered sheets to the accounting department so the Wite-Out would not be detected. She covered her theft during audits by withdrawing large amounts from high-balance members, then returning the money after the audit was over. A surprise audit on June 23, 2010, discovered the vault was $676,000 short. She used the funds to pay for a home, donate to local charities, pay for high school sports and banquet trips, make loan payments for members and cover thefts of cash by others (Missoulian.com July 7) … * BEAVERTON, Ore. (7/12/11)--Lynn Heider, an award-winning television news director in multiple high-profile markets, has been named assistant vice president, public relations and communications for the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA). For the past three years, Heider has served as news director for KOIN-TV, Portland, Ore. Prior to that she served as news director at WTEV and WAWS TV in Jacksonville, Fla.; WEWS in Cleveland, Ohio; and KSHB, Kansas City, Mo. The addition of Heider to the management team is part of the organization's commitment to elevate the association's role in strategic advocacy on behalf of member credit unions, said NWCUA CEO John Annaloro and NWCUA President Troy Stang in a joint statement. In addition to managing multi-million dollar budgets, Heider also helped KOIN-TV ascend to the No. 1 rating for the 11 p.m. newscast market … * FRANKLIN, Va. (7/12/11)--Bronco FCU has selected Brian Hedgepeth,
its former director of retail services, as its new CEO, announced the Franklin, Va.-based, $204 million asset credit union. Board Chairman Charlie Wrenn made the announcement on behalf of the board and staff. Hedgepeth has held the credit union's retail services director position for four years. Before that, he had experience with two banks, beginning with Virginia National Bank (later Sovran, then NationsBank) in 1981. In 1994, Hedgepeth moved to Crestar (now SunTrust), where he worked until taking a position at Bronco in 2007. (Photo provided by Bronco FCU) …


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