Credit Union Assistant Manager Admits to Theft
A former assistant manager admitted Wednesday in court that she stole more than $170,000 from the $14.3 million Harrison District No. 2 Federal Credit Union in Colorado Springs.
In a plea agreement, Rhoda K. Pohina, 39, plead guilty to a felony theft charge, said Carissa Cruson, a prosecutor for the District Attorney’s office in Colorado Springs. Pohina faces two to six years in prison, but she also could receive probation with or without prison time when she is sentenced in October.
Cruson said the theft occurred between December 2008 and June 2014.
According to a police investigation, Pohina used her home computer to access the credit union’s databases that she manipulated to funnel cash advances into her account. She used those stolen funds to pay off her credit cards. When Pohina was first accused of the theft last year, police reported she stole $78,000, but investigators determined she stole $173,514.
A lack of controls enabled Pohina to carry out her theft for years, police said.
Nicholas Jensen, president/CEO of Harrison District No. 2 FCU, said he attended Pohina’s plea hearing.
“While the former employee was able to take advantage of some internal control weaknesses present at the time, in the three years since the discovery of the fraud, Harrison District 2 FCU has been reviewed multiple times, both by NCUA and independent auditors, and has been found to have eliminated any potential internal control weaknesses that could lead to insider fraud in the future,” he said in a prepared statement.
Jensen also called the theft an unprecedented situation that was initially reported to the FBI when detected in 2014. The FBI turned over the case to the Colorado Springs police investigators.
“Harrison District 2 FCU continues to remain stable and sound, and while no member accounts were manipulated, all credit union funds are insured by the National Credit Union Administration , which insures said accounts up to $250,000,” he said. “Harrison District 2 FCU is now looking forward to focusing on our primary mission: doing our best to improve the lives of the families of the Harrison District 2 community.”