In a cease and desist, Georgia’s chief financial regulator has ordered a suburban Atlanta firm, Georgia Entertainers Credit Union, to halt calling itself a credit union.
In an order issued last Tuesday following an earlier agency warning sent to the firm in April, Robert Braswell, the state’s commissioner of banking and finance, said the agency “has no record of Georgia Entertainers Credit Union and has not approved this entity to organize a credit union or conduct a credit union business in Georgia.”
The firm on its website and in a recorded message promotes “exceptional events and services” and asks potential members to fill out “a mandatory form to receive the benefits” of membership. The message states the “credit union” is “not open to take your savings dollars at our branch” but urges consumers to sign up online.
Braswell’s office, citing the false claims that Georgia Entertainers “is purporting to offer membership in the non-existent” credit union has asked the firm’s manager, Aneesah Bray-LaStrape, to refund customers money and to stop marketing itself as a credit union. The agency has warned LaStrape that the case would be referred to the state’s attorney general if no response is received by July 18.
Calls to the company with a Smyrna address were not returned and the agency said questions on the false claims were being referred to Kevin Hagler, deputy commissioner for supervision.
The website, which lists a number of purported SEGs, said the company was started last March and “has been recruiting member-owners in and around the metropolitan Atlanta area, informing them of our exceptional financial products.”
Georgia Entertainers Credit Union “is growing its membership to over 5,000 with estimated assets of over 1,000,000,000. They have 2 full time employees and 1 part time employee with a main office and a branch office,” according to another posting apparently seeking an intern. The “credit union” will offer “its members a full service website that allows for true banking from home functionality” providing user ability to apply for loans, get account balances and transfer funds.
“Members can also take advantage of a full array of loans including music equipment, personal and new/used car loans,” said the site.