Ex-North Island CU Employees Sentenced for Embezzlement
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - A former employee of North Island Credit Union has been sentenced to 15 months in jail after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $338,000 from the financial institution. Authorities said 40-year-old Leanne M. Truitt used the money to live a lavish lifestyle, including throwing elaborate parties, going on trips to Las Vegas and purchasing designer clothes, two cars and a new swimming pool for her home. Her defense attorney denied those claims. Truitt, operations manager at the Coronado Naval Air Station branch of North Island, pleaded guilty in 2004 in U.S. District Court to three counts making false entries in the credit union's general ledger. The entries were designed to make it appear the credit union had more money than it actually did, prosecutors said. She took full responsibility for the missing cash and was ordered to make restitution to the credit union. Truitt had been employed by the credit union for approximately 10 years, according to prosecutors. She was sentenced April 7 by U.S. District Court Judge John S. Rhoades. She faced a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. In addition to jail time and the order to make restitution for $338,317.60, she will be placed on supervised release for five years. "There is no justification for a bank manager stealing money within her care and control," said U.S. Attorney Carol C. Lam. "This is an appropriate sentence for someone who violated the trust of the credit union and its customers." Authorities said the scheme was carried out between 2001 and 2003, when credit union officials became suspicious about the amount of cash on hand at the branch and began an audit. Truitt was responsible for ordering cash from the Federal Reserve and reconciling cash balances. Truitt was ordered to surrender to authorities May 19 to begin serving her jail sentence. It will be up to the Bureau of Prisons to determine where she will serve the sentence.