Former Tacoma Credit Union CEO Faces Fraud Charges
Federal prosecutors in Tacoma, Wash., are bringing fraud charges against Renee J. Thomas, the former president/CEO of the now-merged Community Credit Union.
The pending charges are two felony counts of misapplication of credit union funds and two felony counts of wire fraud, according to documents filed Monday in federal court in Tacoma.
Thomas served as the president/CEO of Community CU from March 2007 until she resigned in September 2009. In February 2010, the credit union merged with the $872 million TwinStar Credit Union in Lacey, Wash.
In December 2007, federal prosecutors allege Thomas misapplied credit union funds by using an employee and the name and Social Security number of a credit union member to create a $16,500 loan advance.
She then used those funds to pay off debt she held with a Bank of America Hawaiian Airlines credit card and a new furnace in her home, according to court documents.
In August 2009, Thomas again allegedly misapplied credit union funds by using an employee and a member to create a $4,000 line of credit to pay off debt she had on a Community CU credit card, federal prosecutors allege.
In the first wire fraud count, Thomas allegedly used a credit union employee to fraudulently obtain disability insurance from CUNA Mutual Insurance against a $34,000 Community CU auto loan she and her husband used to buy a Mercedes E320 Sport and another Community CU $40,000 auto loan she and her husband used purchase a Hummer H2 in March 2007.
Court records show she falsely claimed that a credit union employee mistakenly entered a code into the computer that showed Thomas and her husband elected not to take out the loan disability insurance. Prosecutors allege Thomas made this false claim knowing that her husband could not qualify for the loan disability insurance because of his pre-existing condition.
In the second wire fraud count, federal prosecutors allege Thomas fraudulently increased her credit line on her Community CU credit card from $35,000 to $50,000 and obtained more than $18,000 in cash advances in August and September 2009.