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Former mayor pleads guilty to defrauding CU
TOOELE, Utah (7/27/12)--The former mayor of a Utah city pleaded guilty Monday to one count of felony bank fraud against a credit union.

Eric. A. Richardson, the former mayor of Cedar Hills, was charged in an equity skimming scheme involving HeritageWest CU, Salt Lake City. Heritage West CU is a division of Chartway FCU, based in Virginia Beach, Va.

"HeritageWest has cooperated fully with this investigation and we are pleased to hear that Mr. Richardson has accepted responsibility for his actions," said Bruce Bryan, regional president of HeritageWest.  "Our members should be assured that HeritageWest was an innocent victim in this scam, and that the credit union suffered no financial loss." 

Richardson resigned from his mayoral post two days before federal charges were filed against him in the U.S. District Court for Utah for allegedly submitting a vehicle loan application containing false information, with the intention of skimming money for other uses (The Salt Lake Tribune July 25)

Richardson allegedly signed a blank vehicle loan application in 2010 for $57,144.90 to purchase a 2009 Range Rover. He claimed a monthly income of $15,000 from a firm with which he was no longer associated, according to the court documents. The actual sales price of the vehicle was less than the loan. Richardson allegedly worked in partnership with convicted scammer Christopher D. Hales.

In pleading guilty, Richardson will receive a prison sentence of a year and a day, though the final amount of prison time is to be decided by U.S. District Judge David Nuffer. Richardson is to be sentenced Nov. 14, according to Heritage West CU.


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