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Brothers sentenced for multiple-state ID theft ring

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NEWARK, N.J. (7/11/11)--Two Brooklyn, N.Y., brothers each received sentences of 30 months in prison stemming from their participation in an identity theft ring that operated in six states and stole information to access home equity lines of credits (HELOCs) from bank customers and credit union members. Adewale Adenuga, 28, and Fuad Adenuga, 26, each had pleaded guilty last fall in a U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., to one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft and wire fraud, said a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey (Targeted News Service (July 7). The multi-state identity theft ring operated in, among other places, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, and Florida. The Adenuga brothers gained access account and other information used by members and customers of credit unions, banks, and credit card issuers, including Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual, and TD Bank, according to court documents cited in the release. They stole account holder names, addresses, account numbers, Social Security numbers, and account balance information, which they used to perpetrate several fraudulent schemes related to HELOC accounts, credit card fraud, and withdraw thousands of dollars from accounts at credit unions and banks. The brothers and co-conspirators also traded the information over e-mail, impersonated account holders on the phone and in person, changed customer address information in bank files, transferred money from existing accounts to new accounts in the names of the identity theft victims, and withdrew funds from the new accounts by using debit cards at ATMs and money orders for cash. In addition to the 30 months in prison, the Adenuga brothers were sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $177,217 in restitution. They also could face additional civil penalties. Co-defendant Ibrahim Yusuff also pleaded guilty to the same charge. He is scheduled to be sentenced July 21.

Alloya Corporate video presents case for capitalization

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WARRENVILLE, Ill. (7/11/11)--Alloya Corporate FCU--formerly the Members United Bridge Corporate FCU--has turned to a video to present its case for capitalization to member credit unions. Aug. 31 is the deadline for member credit unions to decide whether to capitalize the Warrenville, Ill.-based Alloya. The corporate has posted a video testimonial featuring four credit union executives sharing views about Alloya's day-to-day value to their credit unions (The Daily Exchange July 8). They include:
* Curt Cecala, CEO of TCT FCU, Ballston Spa, N.Y.; * John Fiore, president/CEO of Motorola Employees CU, Schaumburg, Ill.; * Kenneth Poyton, president/CEO of Postal Government Employees FCU, Providence, R.I.; and * Amy Sink, senior vice president/chief financial officer of Teachers CU, South Bend, Ind.
To access the video use the link.

Nearly 20K raised for CU people in N.D. flood

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MADISON, Wis. (7/11/11)--Since activating its online disaster relief system,, last week, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) has collected nearly $20,000 from the credit union community to assist people affected by recent flooding in North Dakota. “The flood waters in Minot are slowly receding, so the overall devastation is still unknown,” says Jeff Olson, vice president of advocacy and awareness for the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas. “The community’s water system was compromised, so the entire community (population of 41,000) has had to resort to boiling water the last two weeks. Some of the estimates have more than 4,100 residential homes lost or heavily damaged, including 3,000 homes under 10 feet of water. While we are humbled by the CUAid response so far, additional contributions are necessary and would be greatly appreciated,” Olson added. “We are sincerely grateful for your kind consideration,” he told credit unions. Credit union supporters can make donations through a secured website that accepts credit cards and wire transfers. CUAid is the only program of its kind that enables credit union employees, volunteers and members and credit unions and state credit union foundations across the U.S. to contribute directly to support other credit union people. As donations are posted, NCUF is coordinating with the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas to distribute money to credit union employees and members in the affected areas. CUAid was developed by NCUF in cooperation with state credit union foundations, state credit union leagues, and the Credit Union National Association’s Disaster Preparedness Committee in 2006. The secure online tool links the entire credit union system to raise money for disaster relief.

Liquidation prompts resignation on NJCUL board

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HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (7/11/11)--Calvin Jackson has resigned from the New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) board following the liquidation of $1 million asset St. James A.M.E FCU, Newark, where he served as a director. NCUA liquidated St. James A.M.E FCU on June 24. The credit union’s members were assumed by $194 million asset North Jersey FCU, Totowa, N.J. Jackson resigned pursuant to league bylaws requiring a director to be with a credit union in good standing (The Daily Exchange July 8). He served on the board since 2008. His three-year term would have expired Dec. 31, 2012. The resignation means that two seats will be open in the NJCUL Tier A--for candidates from credit unions under $33.875 million in assets--during the current next election cycle. All league member credit unions will receive an amended call for nominations reflecting the Tier A vacancy.

CUNA tells IN.Y. TimesI why CUs aggressive on mortgage loans

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NEW YORK (7/11/11)--Credit unions have emerged in the mortgage lending market largely because they could keep on lending during the financial crisis since they didn't get caught up in subprime loans, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Chief Economist Bill Hampel told The New York Times Friday in an article about credit unions' mortgage lending. The article, "Credit Unions Join the Fray," suggests that credit unions are aggressively entering the mortgage lending area as a good an option for consumers. Hampel noted that from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s, credit unions accounted for 2% of the first-mortgage market, but it more than doubled in 2008-2009 to 4.5%. Credit unions didn't make subprime loans, so when other institutions crumpled under those loans, credit unions kept on lending, Hampel told the Times. In the article, the publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance indicated credit unions have emerged as fairly aggressive because they've decided mortgage loans are a good use of assets. The loans are "an opportunity to help our members achieve the American dream of owning their own home, said Queens, N.Y.-based Melrose CU spokesman Robert Nemeroff in the article. However, the credit union maintains prudent lending policies for a sound mortgage portfolio and a healthy borrowing situation for the member, he said. CUC Mortgage Corp., established by the Credit Union Association of New York, told the Times that New York has seen a 15% increase in mortgage loans, especially to first-time homebuyers. For the full article, use the link.

N.Y. CU Foundation names two new trustees

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ALBANY, N.Y. (7/11/11)--The New York Credit Union Foundation, the charitable arm of the Credit Union Association of New York, appointed two new board trustees at its recent annual meeting.
Alfred Frosolone, CEO, Niagara’s Choice FCU, Niagara Falls, N.Y., was appointed to fill a vacant seat and Louis Jimenez, CEO/treasurer, Montauk CU, New York, joins the foundation board as the newly elected chair of the association. Rounding out the foundation Board of Trustees are:
* Linda Bourgeois, CEO, UFirst FCU; Plattsburgh, N.Y.; * Kevin A. Brauer, senior vice president, Members United Bridge Corporate FCU, Warrenville, Ill. ; * Brian Clarke, chief financial officer, Bethpage FCU, Bethpage. N.Y.; * John C. Gibardi, president/CEO, Entertainment Industries FCU, New York; * Chris Guild, account consultant manager, CUNA Mutual Group, Madison, Wis.; * Gerard Herrling, principal, CarPort Consulting, Fort Worth, Texas; * Shirley Jenkins, secretary/Board of Directors, Municipal CU, New York; * James L. Mack, business development executive, Sunmark FCU, Latham, N.Y.; * William J. Mellin, president/CEO, Credit Union Association of New York, Albany, N.Y.; * Vicki O’Neill, president/CEO, ACMG FCU, Solvay, N.Y.; * Mark Pfisterer, president/CEO, AmeriCU, Rome, N.Y.; * Christine Peters, CEO, Family First of NY FCU, Rochester, N.Y.; * John Prumo, president/CEO, GPO FCU, New Hartford, N.Y.; * Bruno Sementilli, president/CEO, Quorum FCU, Purchase, N.Y.; * Mike Vadala, president/CEO, The Summit FCU, Rochester, N.Y.; and * Robyn Young, CEO, Great Erie FCU, Erie, N.Y.

YouTube video provides overview of NCUFs CIF

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MADISON, Wis. (7/11/11)--The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) has posted a four-minute YouTube video that provides an overview of NCUF’s primary funding mechanism, the Community Investment Fund (CIF).
The informal video features Josie Collins, NCUF’s resource development and donor relations director. The video includes information on how the funds are distributed and how credit union organizations can invest. Collins describes CIF as an innovative way for credit unions to participate in and support the programs and services that NCUF and the state credit union foundations provide. “CIF is a unique, social investment opportunity,” Collins says in the video.

Iowa CUs work to advance Panamas CU system

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PANAMA CITY, Panama (7/11/11)--Iowa Credit Union League (ICUL) executives and CEOs from three member credit unions traveled to Panama June 24-28 to help their counterparts in the Central American country address growth and development issues related to regulation and the development of a central finance facility.
Click to view larger image Iowa Credit Union League (ICUL) executives and CEOs from three member credit unions visited Panamanian credit unions as part of the World Council of Credit Unions’ International Partnerships Program. From left, Victor Miguel Corro, WOCCU International Partnerships senior manager; Mike Whittie, president, Federal Employees CU, Des Moines, Iowa; Tim Chapman, CEO, Members Community CU, Muscatine, Iowa; Ana Giselle Rosas de Vallarino, executive director of Panamanian Autonomous Cooperative Institute; Jim Niederhauser, ICUL director of credit union growth; Murray Williams, ICUL chief operating officer; Pat Drennen, CEO, 1st Gateway CU, Camanche, Iowa; and Warren Morrow, CEO, Coopera Consulting, Des Moines. (Photo provided by Iowa Credit Union League)
The annual exchange was the latest in a relationship between ICUL and the Panama credit union trade organization Corporación Fondo de Estabilización y Garantía de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito de Panamá, R.L. (COFEP), made possible in 2005 through World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) International Partnerships Program. “ICUL’s significant contributions to the program these past six years truly reflect the cooperative nature of our industry and show the value in sharing resources through this partnership,” said Victor Miguel Corro, WOCCU senior manager in charge of the program. While in Panama, the visitors and WOCCU hosted a day-long conference for more than 50 Panamanian credit union attendees. The conference provided best practices and addressed challenges facing Panama’s credit unions. Presentation topics included collaboration, new business development ventures, innovative ways to generate loan interest and development of a central finance facility to manage systemwide liquidity. Murray Williams, ICUL chief operating officer, spoke to the group about the importance of finding collaborative and innovative solutions to their members’ needs. Jim Niederhauser, ICUL vice president of member services, discussed the demands placed on credit unions by Generation Y. Warren Morrow, CEO of Coopera Consulting, a subsidiary of ICUL, showed how U.S. credit unions are growing by serving the underserved Hispanic market. Corro talked about the importance of international partnerships in strengthening the global credit union movement. The conference wrapped up with a panel of Iowa credit union CEOs discussing best practices from their institutions. Panel participants included ICUL Vice Chair Tim Chapman, CEO of Members Community CU, Muscatine; ICUL Board Member Pat Drennen, CEO of 1st Gateway CU, Camanche; and ICUL Board Member Mike Whittie, Federal Employees CU, Des Moines. Discussion topics included the typical day for a U.S. credit union executive, best practices in generating loan demand and an open forum discussion on the benefits of a central finance facility. During the visit, Iowa executives also participated in a meeting with the Panamanian credit union regulator. Ana Giselle Rosas de Vallarino, executive director of Panamanian Autonomous Cooperative Institute (IPACOOP) met with the Iowa delegation, WOCCU and COFEP to discuss the need for a cooperative central finance facility among Panamanian credit unions. A meeting with Panama’s cooperative trade association, CONALCOOP, addressed broad alliances across the cooperative movement and a microfinance fund to help start up small businesses in the country. “Sharing and learning from others is at the core of credit unions’ people-helping-people philosophy,” said Williams. “Collaboration will be critical to the future vitality of the U.S. credit union movement, and the same is certainly true in Panama.”

CU System briefs (07/08/2011)

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* RALEIGH, N.C. (7/11/11)--Raleigh, N.C.-based State Employees' CU (SECU) raised a record $59,000 for March of Dimes March for Babies
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recently, with about 300 SECU team members participating in the annual three-mile march. Credit union staff in the area collected donations through various events, including a Cutest Baby and Pet Contest, gift basket bids, raffles, candy bar sales and individual donations. Many branches outside the Triangle area also raised funds and participated in local walks, adding thousands more to the total. "Once again, the SECU team has outdone themselves. Their passion and commitment to this mission is bigger than the problems in our economy," said LaRonda S. Scott, division director of the Eastern Carolina Division of March of Dimes. Pictured are members of SECU's team. (Photo provided by the State Employees' CU) … * BURNSVILLE, Minn. (7/11/11)--Bob Stowell, right, senior vice president/chief operating officer of Burnsville, Minn.-based US FCU, i
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s pictured with friends made during a Burnsville Morning Rotary Club humanitarian mission to Haiti in February. Organized by Haiti Outreach, the mission focused on providing assistance near Pignon, an area devastated by the 2010 earthquake. Stowell and his group collaborated with Haitians to build and maintain community-initiated projects to advance their development. For three days, he worked on the major Pignon project, building a pump house. He also attended the dedication of a well, which cut Haitians' travel time to a water source from four hours to 45 minutes. Stowell, who is incoming district governor for Rotary District 5950, also visited the village of Ronkit to begin planning, funding and constructing a school. He likened his work with the service organization with his role in the credit union industry. "It's all about serving others," he said, "whether it's a fresh water supply for a Haitian mother or helping a member achieve a financial dream, it's great to know that others will have a better way of life because of the work we have done." (Photo provided by US FCU)…