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Defunct CDCU CEO resigns housing position in plea bargain

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (11/26/07)--The former CEO of a defunct community development credit union Wednesday resigned as executive director of the Harrisburg (Pa.) Housing Authority (HHA) in a plea bargain on charges related to diverting more than $800,000 of HHA funds to bolster the credit union. Carl Payne, formerly CEO of the Greater Harrisburg Community CU, announced his resignation in a letter to Leon Feinerman, chairman of HHA's board of commissioners, according to a press release from HHA. Pending court approval, Payne was expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), according to his attorney, Royce L. Morris. Payne "is essentially saying he improperly filled out financial interest statements after the fact rather than when he should have," Morris said. In return, the Office of U.S. Attorney will drop its May indictment charging Payne with providing false information to a federal grand jury investigating HHA's role in supporting the credit union. Payne has been on leave from the HHA position since the indictment was filed. In a prepared statement, Payne said he was proud of his service to HHA and the city. "I still believe the Greater Harrisburg Community CU was a laudable attempt to improve the economic situation of public housing residents and other disadvantaged citizens of Harrisburg," he added. The credit union, a $1.7 million asset credit union chartered in 2000, was declared insolvent on Feb. 3, 2006. It lost more than $264,000 during the first three quarters of 2005 due to delinquent loans. In 2004, it had a net profit of $3,737. (News Now Oct. 4 and Feb. 14))

CU System briefs (11/21/2007)

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* SPOKANE, Wash. (11/26/07)--Numerica CU donated $16,000 for the KREM 2 (CBS) Tom's Turkey Drive, which collects food and money donations for Second Harvest Food Bank of the Inland Northwest. The Nov. 16-17 event was named after Tom Sherry, lead meteorologist at the station. The event surpassed its goal of 5,000 turkeys/meals and $50,000 by collecting more than 8,000 meals and raising more than $62,000. From left are: Jason Clark, executive director of Second Harvest; Dennis Cutter, president/CEO of the $698 million asset Numerica CU; and Tom Sherry. (Photo provided by Numerica CU) … * WATERL00, Iowa (11/26/07)--More than 850 residents of the Cedar Valley were served a Thanksgiving meal by 100 volunteers during the 25th Annual Mike and Leona Adams' Thanksgiving Dinner Nov. 19. Veridian CU sponsored the event in Waterloo with the Retirees of the United Auto Workers Local 838 and partnered with Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging to provide meals through Meals on Wheels. This is the third year the $1.214 billion asset credit union has participated. Pictured serving a resident are, from left: David Schultz, Veridian board president; Scott Anderson, board member; and staffers Kim Fettkether, Holly Youngblut, Stacey Koontz, Janie Westhoff, and Michele Eckhoff. (Photo provided by Veridian CU) …

CaliforniaNevada Youth Involvement Network Board named

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SAN DIEGO (11/26/07)--The California and Nevada Youth Involvement
New members of the California and Nevada Youth Involvement Network (CNYIN) Board include from left, front row: Cathy Arra, CNYIN liaison; Marissa Lott, Farmers Insurance Group FCU, Los Angeles; and Mariclar Cronin, WesStar CU, Las Vegas; Back row: Michael Lee, The Golden 1 CU, Sacramento, Calif.; Jenny Casselman, Greater Nevada CU, Reno, Nev.; Mike Jones, Educational Employees CU, Fresno, Calif.; and Maria Angelova, Kinecta FCU, Manhattan Beach, Calif. (Photo provided by the California Credit Union League)
Network (CNYIN) recently elected a new board of directors for 2007-2008 at its annual planning session in San Diego. Marissa Lott at Farmers Insurance Group FCU in Los Angeles was re-elected chairman for the third consecutive year. The other elected members on the board of directors are:
* Jenny Casselman, Greater Nevada CU, Reno, Nev.; * Mike Jones, Educational Employees CU, Fresno, Calif.; * Maria Angelova, Kinecta FCU, Manhattan Beach, Calif.; * Michael Lee, The Golden 1 CU, Sacramento, Calif.; * Mariclar Cronin, WestStar CU, Las Vegas; * Marlene Myers, Travis CU, Vacaville, Calif.; * Jenny Ketchepaw, Telesis Community CU, Chatsworth, Calif.; * Mike Randall, Silver State Schools CU, Las Vegas; and * Richard Villareal, San Mateo CU, Redwood City, Calif.
Angelova was this year’s recipient of a Tomorrow’s Star Award, presented by the California Credit Union League to recognize achievements by California credit union professionals under the age of 30. In addition to electing officers, the board established it goals for 2008. “Our focus will be on the further development of current partnerships and forming new partnerships with organizations that can offer valuable resources to our members,” Lott said. Other goals include furthering Web development and exploring educational opportunities for CNYIN members.

Paulson re-elected as Nevada league chairman

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (11/26/07)--Dan Paulson, president/CEO of WestStar CU in Las Vegas, was re-elected as the Nevada Credit Union League board chairman during the league’s annual meeting and convention in San Diego. “Among my goals is to continue the strong political advocacy for credit unions, especially in light of 2008 being an election year,” Paulson said. Other board members include:
* Vice Chairman Wallace Murray, president/CEO of Greater Nevada CU, Carson City, Nevada; * Treasurer Doug Schwartz, president/CEO of Moapa Valley FCU, Overton, Nevada; * Secretary Carol Gibson, executive vice president of Silver State Schools CU, Las Vegas; * Director Dennis Flannigan, president/CEO of Great Basin FCU, Reno, Nevada; * Director Tony Mook, president/CEO of Cumorah CU, Las Vegas; and * Director Bruce Rodela, president/CEO of Frontier Financial CU, Reno, Nevada.
Paulson joined WestStar CU as president/CEO in 1997. Prior to that, he worked at North Island CU in San Diego.

Larger CUs can sponsor smaller CUs for GAC

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WASHINGTON and MADISON, Wis. (11/26/07)--Larger credit unions can donate funds in a new sponsorship program so smaller credit unions can attend the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) CUNA 2008 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). The GAC will be held March 2-6, 2008 in Washington, D.C. CUNA is offering the program in response to large credit unions' recognition that it is critical to educate legislators about the credit union uniqueness and to demonstrate credit union strength in numbers. The program, designed to help credit unions with assets of $35 million or less, does not replace GAC scholarship efforts made by state leagues or the National Credit Union Foundation. Any amount can be donated. The average cost of airfare, four nights' lodging and the registration fee for a small credit union is $2,000. Donations are due Jan. 4. For more information about the program, use the "Sponsor a Credit Union" resource link. Small credit unions can apply for financial assistance by using the resource link for "Financial Assistance Application." Applications for assistance are due Jan. 4.

Several CUs report phish attempts

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MADISON, Wis. (11/26/07)--The holiday season isn't stopping fraudsters from trying to hook financial information from unsuspecting victims via the Web. Several credit unions were targeted the past month with phish attempts. KU CU, the Lawrence, Kan., division of Bartlesville, Okla.-based 66 FCU, reported that a phisher sent messages to University of Kansas e-mail addresses purporting to be KU CU and requesting account numbers. (U-Wire Nov. 19). The credit union's website has a notice asking recipients of the e-mails to notify it immediately, Dennis Halpin, the credit union's spokesperson, told the publication. KU CU never asks for information such as account numbers or credit card numbers in an e-mail. Phishers have used the credit union's name before, he said. The credit union traces the phishers and shuts down their web addresses, but the addresses usually are traced to different countries. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which reported about past phishing attempts against MasterCard and the Credit Union National Association, received a phish posing as a message from Teachers CU and saying the credit union had deactivated the recipient's Visa Check Card due to "unusual levels of fraud." It instructed the recipient to call a toll-free number. Teachers CU is a $1.704 billion asset credit union based in South Bend, Ind. It did not send the message. The phone number is not a toll-free number but a standard area code, 641, which serves Iowa (Pittsburgh Post Gazette Nov. 18). New York Daily News' "Your Money" column reported receiving three attempts from shysters--two of them using credit unions' names--trying to phish for information (Oct. 29). One claimed to be from Scott CU and focused its spiel on an "easy five question survey." In return for filling out the survey, the fake credit union would provide a $20 credit to the recipient's account. Scott CU, with assets of more than $398 million, is headquartered in Collinsville, Ill., and is not surveying anyone via e-mail. The column also reported an e-mail addressed to "Visa cardholder." It claimed a card issued by $1.3 billion asset Washington State Employees CU, based in Olympia, Wash., had been disabled. The recipient was told to call a toll-free number to reactivate the card. The columnist called the number. An automated voice asked for the card number, expiration date and ATM security code. The columnist punched in random numbers, and the robotic voice informed, "Your card has been reactivated," even though the columnist is not a Visa cardholder. Credit unions should continue alerting members to phish attempts and emphasize that credit unions don't ask for account and personal financial information via e-mails and unsolicited phone calls. Recipients of such messages should not click the links or call the numbers provided. Instead, they should delete the message.

Canadian CU System hits 100 billion assets

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TORONTO, Ontario (11/26/07)--Sustained growth in the Canadian credit union system has resulted in two milestones--more than $100 billion in assets, and more than five million members, as of the end of third quarter 2007. The number of credit unions in Canada declined to 472 from 501 a year ago, due to continuing consolidation in the system, said Credit Union Central of Canada. Combined assets for the system rose to $102.4 billion, a 10.8% increase year-over-year at third quarter 2007. Over the past five years, credit unions gained $32 billion in assets, a 45% increase. Deposits/savings growth has remained consistent with recent past results, with an annualized 9.5% growth rate reported by the system. Deposits /savings increased by nearly $7.8 billion to reach $89.2 million at the end of the third quarter. Loan demand remained relatively high with total system loans increasing by $8.5 billion, or an annualized 11%, to $86.1 billion at the third quarter. Loans as a percentage of total deposits are at 96.5%, compared with 95%, a year ago, and 89%, for 10 years ago.

CU supporter to run for Oregon state office

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BEAVERTON, Ore. (11/26/07)--Oregon State Sen. Rick Metsger (D), a long-time credit union supporter, announced his intention Tuesday to enter the Democratic primary for Oregon Secretary of State in the 2008 election. More than 40 credit union supporters attended the announcement made in Portland, Ore. Metsger also made a stop at the Eugene branch of OnPoint Community CU to be available to area press. “Senator Metsger’s ability to find consensus on difficult issues is well-respected in the Oregon Senate,” said Pamela Leavitt, senior vice president of governmental affairs and communications for the Credit Union Association of Oregon (CUAO). “His knowledge and support of issues important to credit unions makes him a staunch ally for our credit unions.” Metsger’s history with credit unions started when he served on the board of directors as vice chairman of OnPoint Community CU--then Portland Teachers CU. As chair of the Senate Business Committee, he was instrumental in helping pass credit union priority legislation for the past two legislative sessions, CUAO said.