PHOENIX, Ariz. (4/11/12)--A Yuma, Ariz., businessman was sentenced to 24 months in prison and three years' supervision for one count each of conspiracy and transactional money laundering for his role in a $50 million fraudulent business loan scheme that helped put Yuma-based AEA FCU into conservatorship.
Frank Ruiz, 62, who had pleaded guilty in June to the charges allegedly received $4.75 million in fraudulent business loans from William Liddle, AEA's former vice president of lending. Ruiz initially faced 68 felony counts but the charges were reduced in a plea bargain and because he gave "substantial" assistance in the case against Liddle (KYMA.com and Loansafe.org April 10 and LSWT.com April 9).
In February Liddle was found guilty of 54 counts of conspiracy, fraud and transactional money laundering. His wife, Rhonda Liddle, was found guilty on 36 counts. Their sentencing is set for May 21.
AEA FCU, with $229 million in assets, was placed into conservatorship by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) in December 2010. In August, NCUA said the credit union's financial situation was improving.