Credit Union Assistant Manager Faces Resentencing
A former assistant manager at the $12 million Wyman-Gordon Federal Credit Union is heading back to court after a 2010 Wisconsin Court of Appeals said state courts don’t have jurisdiction over federal credit union embezzlement.
Susan Carcieri is scheduled to be resentenced May 19 for her role in staging a 2002 robbery at the Worcester, Mass., credit union.
Carcier, 63, was found guilty of embezzlement in 2010 for conspiring with her husband, George Labadie, to steal $210,000 from Wyman-Gordon FCU.
Labadie was also found guilty of attempted counterfeiting and possession of counterfeiting tool.
The couple lived across the street from the credit union and operated a gas station and convenience store, according to court documents.
On the day of the staged robbery, Carcieri called 911 to report she had been a victim of an anonymous person who entered the credit union and demanded cash. When police arrived, they found her tied to a chair in the break area of the credit union with her feet and left hand loosely bound by cords from a window blind. However, her right hand was free, according to court records.
According to police who testified during the 2010 trial, investigators found $4,000 in $10 bills hidden in an exterior wall of the couple’s home and more than $20,000 in $100 bills in the days following the robbery.
At one point, the case hinged on the legal definition of counterfeiting tools.
Labadie’s computer, scanner and printer, which were confiscated by police, contained scanned images of U.S. currency and incriminating internet searches including, "how to make counterfeit money,” according to court documents.
During the trial, the court found the evidence was sufficient to find beyond a reasonable doubt that the computer, scanner and printer constituted implements adapted to and designed for making counterfeit currency, the court documents said.
Evidence showed the couple was having financial difficulties at the time of the robbery, including owing more than $40,000 to the Wisconsin Lottery Commission, according to court documents.
Prior to the robbery, Labadie had told witnesses that he wanted to purchase commercial donut-making equipment to boost business at the couple’s gas station, but couldn’t afford the expensive equipment, the court documents said.
Labadie allegedly bought the donut machinery a few days after the robbery, according to police reports.
In the 2010 trial, a Worcester Superior Court jury convicted both the husband and wife of embezzlement. Carcieri was sentenced to four to seven years, but the sentence was later stayed pending appeal.
Labadie was sentenced in 2010 to 10 to 12 years' imprisonment on the bank embezzlement charge, and wasn also sentenced to a concurrent prison term of nine to 10 years for possessing counterfeiting tools.
The couple was ordered to pay $210,000 in restitution.
In 2012, the Massachusetts Appeals Court reversed the bank embezzlement conviction. The appeals court ruled that a state law on bank embezzlement should not have been used to prosecute the couple. The court cited a 1903 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that states could not enact criminal laws related specifically to financial institutions with federal charters.
“Even were we to assume that federal credit unions are "banks"...the language and history of the embezzlement statute demonstrate that the legislature did not intend to bring thefts from federal credit unions within its reach,” the court ruling said.
Although the couple sought further appellate review, the Supreme Judicial Court, which had previously vacated the bank embezzlement charges, ordered that the couple be returned to Worcester Superior Court for resentencing on larceny by embezzlement, which is punishable by up to 5 years' imprisonment.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that prosecution had proven all the elements of the lesser charge of larceny by embezzlement in the 2010 trial.
Labadie, 54, was recently resentenced to four to five years in Massachusetts state prison on the larceny charge. The judge rejected his argument that the court lacked jurisdiction to resentence him.