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Credit Union Employees Plead Guilty to Theft.

Byline: Peter Strozniak

A former credit union CEO in Ohio and a former teller in Michigan pleaded guilty to charges that they stole tens of thousands of dollars from their credit unions.

Jane Ann Dearth, 42, the former president/CEO of the $53 million Riverview Credit Union in Belpre, Ohio, pleaded guilty Jan. 23 in Washington County Common Pleas Court to a felony theft charge, according to The Marietta Times.

From April 2011 to March 2014, Dearth wrote herself unauthorized mileage checks, submitted reimbursement requests for personal expenses, made unauthorized charges to her credit union credit card and unauthorized payments to her husband, the newspaper reported.

The amount stolen was between $20,000 and $40,000.

"The bottom line is that it was an unfortunate situation, but we, like most financial institutions, were insured if such an issue ever arose," Michael B. Iaderosa, president/CEO of Riverview, said. "None of our member accounts were affected or compromised. We've really taken steps to strengthen our procedures and our policies to ensure that this doesn't happen again."

Iaderosa said after the fraud was detected internally, an audit was conducted. Following that audit, Riverview contacted the local police and an investigation was launched. Iaderosa believed Dearth was fired before the end of the first quarter of last year.

Iaderosa said he expects Dearth will be required to make a full monetary restitution to the credit union once she is sentenced in March. Appointed the CEO in May 2014, Iaderosa was not employed with Riverview when the Dearth theft occurred.

Dearth's attorney, George Cosenza in Parkersburg, W. Va., did not return an email message seeking comment. The Washington County prosecutors also did not return phone and email messages.

Alysia M. Wright, 35, a former teller for the $101 million Copoco Community Credit Union in Bay City, Mich., pleaded no contest to embezzling $91,346 Jan. 22, according to Bay County Circuit Court records.

The theft was detected in May 2014 during an audit conducted by Cheryl Dietzel, Copoco Community CU's EVP, Linda L. Doan, president/CEO of Copoco Community CU, said.

Doan confirmed local media reports that Wright carried out her theft by taking money from her cash drawer. To make it look like her money drawer was balanced, she wrote checks for the amount stolen and filed them as hold-over checks. Using checks she stole from relatives, Wright started this scheme in 2012.

Once the fake holder-over checks were discovered, Wright was confronted about them and she confessed to stealing the funds, Doan said.

"She [Wright] said she didn't know why she did it," Doan said. "I have my own personal thought on that, but I am not willing to share it."

Wright is scheduled to be sentenced in March, according to court records.

"We've changed our processes to prevent this from happening again," Doan said. "There also have been staffing changes and other changes that will make this next to impossible to occur again."

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Publication:Credit Union Times
Date:Feb 2, 2015
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