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CU System briefs (11/13/2008)
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (11/14/08)--More than 41 volunteers from Alabama and Mississippi credit unions attending the Alabama Credit Union League's fall Development Conference in Biloxi, Miss., participated in a building project for the Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They worked on six houses, each in the initial stages of framing, in Long Beach, Miss. According to Leah Witmer of the Habitat organization, "They played a critical role in helping 29 hardworking families move one step closer to homeownership and long-term financial stability. We absolutely couldn't have made so much progress without these volunteers." The league provided breakfast and lunch and "Build on our Mission"-themed T-shirts. Pictured are some of the volunteers. (Photo provided by the Alabama Credit Union League) … * NORTH POLE (11/14/08)--A man dressed in a black motocross helmet, a black jacket and dark bunny boots robbed a branch of Alaska USA FCU at the North Pole Wednesday afternoon. Police are investigating whether the robbery is connected to a bomb threat called in to a nearby middle school. The branch is located in a Carrs/Safeway grocery store. Police shut down the school and sealed off entrances at the shopping center but allowed shoppers to leave. An undisclosed amount was taken (Fort Mill Times Nov. 13) … * JACKSON, Miss. (11/14/08)--Two well-dressed gunmen held up the Mississippi DHS FCU in Jackson Wednesday morning (clarionledger.com Nov. 13). The robbery is the 14th in the city this year and the second time the credit union has been robbed this year. The men robbed two tellers, who were not injured. No members were in the credit union at the time. Authorities have not determined whether this robbery is related to a robbery by two men of the credit union on May 9. A school next door was locked down after the incident … * BAY CITY, Mich. (11/14/08)--Jeremy L. Coberley has been named president/CEO of FinancialEdge Community CU. The appointment was effective Sept. 24, announced Timothy Green, board chairman. Coberley was formerly vice president of operations at the $55 million asset credit union and had been a member of its management team since 2002. He has more than 10 years' experience with the credit union industry. The credit union, based in Bay City, serves the communities of Bay, Sagninaw, Midland and Arenac Counties in Michigan … * GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (11/14/08)--Ronald Tran, 45, former general manager of Plainwell Community FCU, Plainwell, Mich., pleaded guilty Wednesday to defrauding the credit union of about $1.3 million over four years until 2004. He pleaded guilty to two counts of financial institution fraud, four counts of embezzlement from a credit union, and four counts of money laundering. Investigators said he issued loans under false information and used his position to misapply funds of the credit union for his own use. Sentencing is set for Feb. 23. Tran faces a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million on the embezzlement charges, plus up to 20 years and a fine of $500,000 for the money-laundering charges (WWMT.com Nov. 13) … * TULSA, Okla. (11/14/08)--Cynthia Jan Harris, a former assistant manager for Mayes County FCU, pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $1.6 million from the $24.5 million asset, Pryor, Okla.-based credit union. Harris admitted to stealing the money from June 2000 through July 2007. She made phony deposits into existing credit union accounts and then used checks to withdraw funds. She faces a four-to-five-year prison term (Associated Press Newswires Nov. 7) … * WEST MONROE, La. (11/14/08)--Forest Kraft FCU, based in West Monroe, has changed its name to Centric FCU, as of Nov. 1. The change stems from the $74 million asset credit union’s “desire to further distinguish itself in the financial institution marketplace,” the credit union said in a press release. “Our intent in becoming Centric FCU is to better reflect who we are,” said Centric CEO Chris Craighead. “Since expanding our membership several years ago, we have grown beyond our original membership" …


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