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Credit Union CEO Pleads Guilty to $1 Million Theft.

Byline: Peter Strozniak

A 30-year president/CEO of a failed Louisiana credit union, who created fake loans and coded those accounts so no statements would be generated, pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court in New Orleans to stealing more than $1 million.

Jacqueline Ray, 60, of Biloxi, Miss., admitted in court documents she carried out a fraudulent scheme from 2007 to May 2013 by creating 149 bogus loans and 71 fictitious member accounts at the Ochsner Clinic Federal Credit Union. Nearly all of the bogus member accounts were connected to at least two fake loans.

While no loan documentation existed on the fake loans, they were all coded in the OCFCU data process system to prevent account statements from being generated, which allowed Ray to conceal her embezzlement for seven years.

Funds that were drawn from the fake loans were allegedly stolen through checks made payable to the fictitious members, the credit union or an auto dealership, which was not identified in court documents. The bogus checks were deposited in an OCFCU bank account at a local bank that the credit union's official checks were drawn upon.

Ray credited the deposits made with the fraudulent loan proceeds into her account at the credit union or in the names of family members set up by Ray, according to court documents. She, not family members, controlled and used these funds.

The former CEO admitted she withdrew large amounts of money from these accounts, but court documents do not say how or what she spent the money on.

To conceal her scheme at the end of the month when accounts were reconciled, Ray made certain the fraudulent deposits appeared as "deposits in transit."

Ray is scheduled to be sentenced on June 15.

On June 28, 2013, the NCUA liquidated the $9.25 million OCFCU stating in a release it had determined the credit union was insolvent and had no prospect for restoring viable operations. The $307 million ASI Federal Credit Union of Harahan, La., assumed OCFCU's members, deposits and loans.

Court documents revealed that during the course of an NCUA audit, Gail Teague, who worked as an office manager at the credit union, admitted to stealing $34,000 by creating a fraudulent loan.

Ray is Teague's sister, according to court documents.

On May 17, 2013, more than one month before the NCUA announced OCFCU's liquidation, Teague signed a hand-written confession acknowledging the theft after auditors interviewed her.

In December 2014, Teague was charged with theft of bank funds. She pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Ray. Teague was sentenced in July 2015 to three years of probation and was ordered to pay $34,000 in restitution.

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Publication:Credit Union Times
Geographic Code:1U7LA
Date:Mar 1, 2016
Words:447
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