SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (3/12/08)--A trial of a former credit union chief executive and her husband accused of embezzling money from members has gone to a jury. Carol Aranjo, the former chief executive of now-defunct community development credit union D. Edward Wells CU, along with her husband, Alphonso Smith, allegedly stole $1.5 million from the credit union. Jurors began deliberating the case Monday afternoon. So far, 29 individuals have testified during the five-week trial (The Republican March 11). The couple’s defense lawyer stated that the amount they are accused of stealing is “preposterous.” He blamed the credit union’s board, who he said never questioned Aranjo about the money. He also said the missing funds were due to poor bookkeeping, the newspaper stated. Prosecutors said Aranjo used the funds to purchase a sauna and a timeshare in Mexico. Aranjo and Smith also are accused of using the money to pay personal debts. Aranjo and Smith face were charged with embezzlement, conspiracy and tax evasion. If convicted, Aranjo could face up to 14 years in prison (News Now Feb. 19). D. Edward Wells was liquidated in 2003 by the National Credit Union Administration after it suffered significant losses.