NCUA Bans Six for Wrongdoing
Rebecca Andino, former employee of Southern Delaware Postal Employees Federal Credit Union, Houston, Del., was convicted of theft and sentenced to six months supervised work release, 12 months supervised probation and required to pay $54,800 in restitution.
Rhonda Campbell, former employee of North Star Federal Credit Union, Lima, Ohio, was convicted of credit union embezzlement and sentenced to eight months in prison, supervised release for five years and pay $105,000 in restitution.
Richard James Ditzel, former employee of Capital Power Credit Union, Sacramento, Calif., was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to 33 months in prison, 60 months of supervised release and ordered to pay $478,992 in restitution.
Richard A. Lange, former president of Financial One Credit Union, formerly First Community Credit Union, Columbia Heights, Minn., was convicted of embezzlement and filing false tax returns. He was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment, three years probation and ordered to pay $249,691 in restitution.
Sharon Quattrone, former employee of CCSE Federal Credit Union, Salamanca, N.Y., was convicted of making a false statement to a federal credit union and was sentenced to three years supervised release.
Hyacinth Richardson, former manager of Mid Island Federal Credit Union, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, signed an order of prohibition without admitting or denying fault to avoid the time and cost of litigation.
Violating a prohibition order can be punished by imprisonment and a fine of up to $1 million.
CUNA, NASCUS Urge FTC to Exempt
State CUs From Mortgage Rules
State-chartered credit unions shouldn't have to comply with any future rules designed to protect against predatory lending or revamp the mortgage lending process because they are already subject to vigorous state regulations and would be at a competitive disadvantage.
That's the argument put forth in separate letters to the FTC by CUNA and NASCUS about proposed regulations the agency is considering that are aimed at decreasing the number of problems that consumers have with financial institutions.
"Credit unions have not been the source of problems for home loan borrowers and do not need additional rules to ensure that they act in their members' best interests," wrote CUNA Senior Assistant General Counsel Jeffrey P. Bloch. He added that state-charted credit unions would be "needlessly subjected to new regulatory burdens that will add to their compliance costs."
He also urged the FTC not to favor certain types of loans over others and not to ban certain kinds of variable-rate mortgage loans but suggested that the agency ban loans with negative amortization features.
NASCUS Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Brian Knight wrote that if state-chartered credit unions were included in the new rules, it would be "inequitable because there is less likelihood of similar regulations being promulgated by the federal banking agencies."
He added that because of the strong state regulations that are in place, "it is dubious that including depository institutions within the scope of this rulemaking will produce any substantive benefit to consumers. However, there is the potential that inclusion could confuse consumers."
IRS Warns About Identity Scams
The IRS urged consumers to be wary of identity theft scams that use the IRS name, logo or Web site or those of the Treasury Department.
These are designed to trick people into revealing personal and financial information, such as credit card numbers and passwords, bank account numbers and Social Security numbers.
The IRS doesn't discuss tax information by e-mail and urges people to avoid falling for some of these schemes:
o Making Work Pay refund-This phishing e-mail, which claims to come from the IRS, references the president and the Making Work Pay provision of the 2009 economic recovery law. It says that there is a refundable credit available to workers, consumers and retirees that can be paid into the recipient's bank account if the recipient registers their account information with the IRS.
o Inherited funds, lottery winnings, cash consignment-In this phishing scheme, recipients receive an e-mail claiming to come from the U.S. Department of the Treasury notifying them that they will receive millions of dollars in recovered funds or lottery winnings or cash consignment if they provide certain personal information, including phone numbers, via return e-mail.
o Form W-8BEN-Fraudsters modify a genuine IRS form, the W-8BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding, to request detailed personal and financial information.
o Refund scam-The bogus e-mail, which claims to come from the IRS, tells the recipient that he or she is eligible to receive a tax refund for a given amount. Taxpayers do not have to complete a special form to obtain a refund. Taxpayer refunds are based on the tax return they submit to the IRS.
CUNA, NAFCU Support SBA Change
The Small Business Administration's proposal to extend 7(a) loans to businesses with assets of $8.5 million will help credit unions do more to help jumpstart the economy, CUNA and NAFCU wrote the agency.
This and other programs have "been very helpful for credit unions in their efforts to provide credit to their members who own small businesses," wrote CUNA Senior Assistant General Counsel Jeffrey Bloch.
He urged the agency to make the change-set to run through September 2010-permanent, suggested making the agency's 90% guarantee on all loans permanent and urged additional limitations on fees for SBA lending.
In his letter to the SBA, NAFCU Associate Director of Regulatory Affairs Tessema Tefferi made the same points and said these changes will change the current situation in which "federal credit union participation in SBA lending is not at a level that it could and should be."
The proposal would make 7(a) loan size standard and would parallel the standard for its 504 Certified Development Company loan. The net worth for the company and its affiliates cannot be in excess of $8.5 million. The average net income after federal income taxes excluding any carry-over losses for the preceding two completed fiscal years cannot be more than $3 million.
NAFCU Adds Three House Members
To Congressional Caucus Roster
U.S. Reps. Joe Baca (D-Calif.), Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) have been added to the list of speakers of NAFCU's Congressional Caucus.
All three lawmakers have been strong supporters of credit unions, and Kanjorski has been the main sponsor of several pieces of legislation of importance to the movement, including a bill to lift the cap on member business loans.
The caucus, which runs from Sept. 20-23, will also feature speeches by NCUA board members and the keynote speaker will be Democratic strategist and television analyst Donna Brazile.
For more information about the caucus, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Washington, or to register go to www.nafcu.org/caucus.
NAFCU Compliance Seminar
The Credit CARD Act of 2009, Truth in Savings, and mortgage advertising are among the topics that will be covered at NAFCU's 2009 regulatory compliance seminar.
The seminar will be held in Charleston, S.C., from Oct. 19-22 and will feature sessions led by attorneys, credit union executives and other experts.
NAFCU's annual event comes at a time when lawmakers and regulators are tackling an array of issues relating to financial services in general and credit unions in particular. Seminar participants will receive instructions about these issues and have opportunity to ask questions.
Participants will also have the chance to meet with peers from their region and learn about what challenges they are facing during NCUA examinations.
For further information, or to register, go to www.nafcu.org/seminar.