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CUMIS sues former CU branch manager alleging embezzlement
SALT LAKE CITY (1/3/12)--CUMIS Insurance Society Inc. has filed a civil lawsuit against a former branch manager of the now defunct Utah Central CU, Salt Lake City, seeking more than $219,630 allegedly embezzled from the credit union, according to court documents.

The suit was filed Dec. 23 in a Utah state Third Judicial District Court against Javier Herrera, who was manager at the credit union's West Valley Branch from May 2008 to May 2010, according to the complaint filed.

Utah Central was liquidated by the National Credit Union Administration in May and is now a division of Virginia Beach, Va.-based Chartway FCU.  Utah Central was insured by Madison, Wis.-based CUMIS with a fidelity bond that covers losses caused by employee dishonesty and failure to faithfully perform his trust, said the complaint.

The suit alleges that beginning in August 2008, Herrera underwrote and approved fraudulent auto loans in members' names without their knowledge or authorization. The credit union found out about the thefts when several members contacted it after they were notified of delinquencies on the fraudulent loans by an auto repossession department, said the complaint filed.

The credit union terminated Herrera's employment and filed an employee dishonesty and lack of faithful performance bond claim with CUMIS, who paid the claim, said the court document.

The insurance company is asking for repayment as well as punitive and exemplary damages and action to prevent Herrara from selling assets. It also asked the court to hold his accounts and property in a trust. Herrera has not been convicted in a criminal court of any crime. CUNA Mutual Group told News Now that it cannot comment on the case, since the litigation is pending.

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