Jury Finds Former AEA FCU Loan Officer, Wife Guilty of Fraud
Two years after William Liddle was arrested for masterminding a loan scheme that led to the collapse of AEA Federal Credit Union, a jury has found the former loan officer guilty of several counts of fraud and money laundering.
The verdict came late Friday evening at a U.S. District Phoenix courthouse after two weeks of testimony including Liddle testifying in his own defense.
During his time at the credit union, Liddle, a former vice president of business services at the Yuma, Ariz., credit union, approved more than $25 million in business loans, according to a prior indictment from a Phoenix federal grand jury.
Liddle, along with his wife, Rhonda, and Frank Ruiz, an Arizona businessman, were arrested in December 2010 for their roles in approving questionable AEA business loans in exchange for nearly $1 million, according to the Arizona Office of the United States Attorney.
On Friday, the jury found Liddle guilty of 44 counts of federal credit institution fraud, 14 counts of misapplication of financial institution fraud, six counts of transactional money laundering, three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy.
Liddle’s wife, Rhonda, was found guilty of 30 counts of federal credit institution fraud, five counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy.
The Liddles are scheduled to be sentenced May 21.
Ruiz, who previously pleaded guilty to his role, testified against the Liddles. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 12.
Due in large part to the impact of Liddle’s loan activity, AEA was placed in conservatorship by the NCUA in December 2010. NCUA public affairs specialist John Zimmerman said since the agency is still overseeing the credit union, it will not comment on the case.