Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Woman Pleads Guilty In United Catholic Credit Union Embezzlement in Michigan

A Toledo woman who allegedly pocketed about $2.1 million from the United Catholic Credit Union in Temperance has pleaded guilty as charged to one count each of financial institution embezzlement and racketeering, with both felonies punishable by up to 20 years.

This photo provided by Michigan Department of Attorney General, shows Sharon Broadway of Toledo, Ohio. Broadway, 61, who was the sole employee of a Michigan credit union has been charged with embezzling $2.1 million from United Catholic Credit Union in Temperance, Mich.

Sharon Broadway, 61, pleaded guilty to embezzling the money from the credit union since 1985 before Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Michael A. Weipert. Both the embezzlement and the racketeering charges are 20-year felonies, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said. She will be sentenced by Judge Weipert at 9 a.m. Jan. 17.

Mr. Schuette charged the woman after a routine examination by the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) revealed that a substantial amount of certificates of deposit went unrecorded on the credit union’s books.

“Whenever a Michigan family makes a deposit into their accredited financial institution, they should not have to worry about the safety of their hard-earned money or that their assets are being used for personal gain,” Mr. Schuette said in a press release. “Our office will continue to work closely with the OFIR to bring criminals to justice when they unfairly manipulate the system.”

As manager, secretary, board member and sole employee of the credit union, Ms. Broadway was able to conceal her crimes for years using a complex money laundering scheme involving forged checks and multiple aliases. According to the charges, she used the embezzled money as her personal funds.

The OFIR closed the credit union in August and appointed the National Credit Union Administration as receiver. The administration insures credit union deposits much the same way the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures bank deposits, therefore no credit union depositors lost money, Mr. Schuette said. On Dec. 4, the OFIR issued a formal prohibition order that prevents Ms. Broadway from working in the Michigan-chartered credit union industry in the future.

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