Ex-CEO Gets 18 Months
Renee J. Thomas, 45, the former president/CEO of the merged Community Credit Union in Pierce County, Wash., was sentenced on March 20 to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
In addition, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald B. Leighton in Tacoma ordered Thomas to pay $129,000 in restitution.
Thomas pleaded guilty in December to two felony counts of misapplication of credit union funds and two felony counts of wire fraud, according to court documents.
Thomas served as the president/CEO of Community CU from March 2007 until she resigned in September 2009 as state authorities were preparing to examine the credit union. In February 2010, the credit union merged with the $882 million TwinStar Credit Union in Lacey, Wash.
Thomas misapplied credit union funds by using an employee and the Social Security number of a credit union member to create a $16,500 loan advance in December 2007. She then used those funds to pay off a Bank of America Hawaiian Airlines credit card and a new furnace in her home, according to court documents.
She also 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, documents showed.
In August 2009, Thomas misapplied credit union funds by using an employee and a member to create a $4,000 line of credit to pay off a Community CU credit card. Thomas also fraudulently increased her credit line from $35,000 to $50,000 and obtained more than $18,000 in cash advances, authorities said.