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CU System briefs (09/28/2011)
* BALTIMORE (9/29/11)--Two Maryland men who pleaded guilty as co-conspirators in a scheme to obtain fraudulent loans from several Maryland credit unions were sentenced Thursday in a U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Christopher Houston, 34, of Edgewood, Md., was sentenced to 33 months in prison plus five years of supervised release for bank fraud conspiracy. He also was ordered to pay more than $126,000 in restitution. Donald Brown, 31, Elkton, received five months in prison and five months of home detention, plus three years of supervised release. Houston is the boyfriend and Brown the brother of the ring's central figure, Latesha Brown, 26, of Edgewood, who was sentenced earlier this month to six years in prison for bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. Court documents alleged that the three and others used false, modified, or stolen identities and documents while Latesha Brown was employed at credit unions to allegedly help them obtain loans with no collateral. She was employed at Transit Employees FCU, and allegedly helped obtain fraudulent loans from Harford County Maryland FCU and Municipal Employees FCU and a number of other credit unions. Records indicated she allegedly applied for jobs at 33 credit unions and for membership in 29 credit unions. The incidents occurred from September 2004 through August 2010 and resulted in $234,552 in losses, said a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore (Dagger Press Sept. 22) … * FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (9/29/11)--University FCU, based in Austin, Texas, has donated $1.7 million to St. Edwards University to renovate its Alumni Gym, according to the Texas Credit Union League (LoneStar Leaguer Sept. 27). St. Edwards will rename the building University FCU Alumni Gym. The $1.4 billion asset credit union has contributed more than $2 million to the university since 1991, and has supported it by providing funds for scholarships, event sponsorships and more. It also provides internships for students interested in careers in business and/or finance and consumer education in personal finance for the university community, said the league … * SAN ANTONIO (9/29/11)--The newly designed website of San Antonio-based, $6.5 billion asset Security Service has been named the 2011 Best Credit Union Website by the Web Marketing Association. The award is based on criteria that included design, ease of use, copywriting, interactivity, use of technology and content. The credit union partnered with Extractable, a San Francisco-based digital user experience design agency, on the project to create a more engaging online experience for users. The credit union reported double-digit percentage gains have already been realized in credit card application and vehicle loan volume since the site was revamped … * MOLINE, Ill. (9/29/11)--Joseph VandeMoortel, 81, died Thursday at his home in Moline, Ill. VandeMoortel was a manager for 15 years at John Deere Foundry CU. He also was a past director of the Illinois Credit Union League, active in the Mississippi Valley Chapter of Credit Unions, chairman of the Illinois Credit Union Board from 1981 to 1983, and was a Credit Union National Association national director from 1979 to 1983 (The Quad City Times Sept. 24) …


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