NCUA Bans Former AEA FCU Lending Officer
William Liddle, the former lending officer at AEA Federal Credit Union, has been prohibited from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution, the NCUA said Thursday.
Liddle, a former employee of the $231 million AEA FCU in Yuma, Ariz., was convicted in 2012 of conspiracy, fraud, wire fraud and transactional money laundering. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, five years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of more than $25 million.
Liddle’s involvement in a loan kickback scheme was among the main culprits that led to significant losses in AEA FCU’s loan portfolio. The NCUA placed the credit union in conservatorship in December 2010.
An 11-month federal investigation conducted by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed that Liddle approved more than $25 million in fraudulent business loans.
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 U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona.
Ruiz used the loans to fund his businesses, many of which are now bankrupt. The three persons have since filed personal bankruptcy.
AEA said Liddle was hired in November 2004 to develop and manage a business services program based on his formal education and professional expertise in commercial lending and international business.
Liddle resigned from his position in December of 2009 to manage his business, Desert Capital Advisors LLC, AEA FCU said at the time of the investigation.
Despite its financial troubles, AEA FCU recently posted positive financials for 2012, according to the NCUA. Total assets at the end of the fourth quarter stood at $231 million, and the net worth ratio improved by 137 basis points from year-end 2011, ending the fourth quarter at 4.02%, the NCUA said.