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CU System briefs (09/12/2011)
* SPARKS, Nev. (9/13/11)--Sparks, Nev., police are looking for two men in pickup trucks who stole an ATM from Carson City, Nev.-based Greater Nevada CU early Sunday. Police received a call at 5 a.m. Sunday that someone was destroying the ATM and using a backhoe to load it into the back of a pickup truck. Three hours later, hunters in the woods discovered two suspects trying to gain access to the ATM. The hunters left the area and called police. Police arrived as two trucks left the scene. The ATM was recovered but it was not known if any money was stolen from it (KOLOTV.com Sept. 11 and The Republic Sept. 12) … * SEATTLE (9/13/11)--Three Seattle men have been charged with skimming more than half a million dollars from cash machines in two separate conspiracies that involved placing skimming equipment on ATMs or access doors and using small cameras to record personal identification numbers (PINs). Police believe Beneyam Asrat G-Sellassie, 22, who is charged with possessing counterfeit and unauthorized access devices is linked to more than 20 incidents in Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada that compromised up about 1,800 accounts. Roughly 573 people suffered losses exceeding $394,000. Ionut Buzbuchi, 55, Rendon, and Mihai Eleckes, 35, of Issaquah are charged with bank fraud related to skimming activity in 2009 in Washington, Idaho and Arizona. The ring allegedly targeted BECU, Watermark and First Tech CUs, as well as Chase Bank. Losses related to those incidents totaled more than $160,000 so far (PNWlocalnews.com Sept. 8) … * TOPEKA, Kan. (9/13/11)--Five Topeka, Kan., residents have been charged with conspiring to defraud Topeka banks and credit unions of more than $400,000 (Targeted News Service Sept. 7). Charged in the scheme are Maqsood Baloch, 31; Amanda Rene Baloch, 26; Irfan Khan, 30; Junaid Iqbal, 30; and Kanwal Baloch, 22. All but Amanda Baloch are natives of Pakistan. According to court records, the five allegedly represented themselves as owners and operators of gas stations, convenience stores and smoke shops in Topeka and Osage City. They allegedly set up accounts at Topeka financial institutions--including Educational CU--and allegedly deposited insufficient funds checks and immediately withdrew or transferred funds before the fraud was discovered. They also are charged with making e-payments using false account numbers and accounts with insufficient funds … * LANSING, Mich. (9/13/11)--The Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) & Affiliates presented a check for more than $100,071 to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, through Credit Unions for Kids. Accepting the check on behalf of four hospitals in Michigan was Sparrow Hospital in Lansing (Michigan Monitor Sept. 12). Funds were raised through a charity golf outing, live auctions and silent auction at the 2011 MCUL Annual Convention and Expo in May. Credit unions and staff donated more than $71,000 for children's hospitals in Michigan; candy bar sales brought $14,243 more; and the CO-OP Services Miracle Match Program matched more than $14,000. Funds went to Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak; DeVos Children's Hospital, Grand Rapids; Hurley Medical Center, Flint; and Sparrow. From left: Stella Cash, interim executive director, the Sparrow Foundation; Maureen Lafrinere, MCUL & Affiliates; Dr. Stephen Guertin; and Joy Wiseman, Sparrow's director of development for pediatrics and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. (Photo provided by the Michigan Credit Union League) …


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