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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Concrete progress is finally being made in the investigation of the downfall of D. Edward Wells Federal Credit Union after more than three years. Carol Aranjo, former CEO of the community development credit union, as well as her husband and one son were arrested Friday, July 7, and charged with embezzling money from the failed credit union. NCUA liquidated D. Edward Wells in May 2003 for insolvency after a brief conservatorship and transferred member share accounts to Western Massachusetts Telephone Workers Federal Credit Union. Aranjo, chairman of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions from 1993 to 1999, was ousted from that position in 1999 in events unrelated to the current situation and later failed to disclose to the Federation a full and accurate accounting of its investments in the credit union. The Federation filed a complaint with NCUA initiating the investigation that led to the liquidation of the credit union.

Federation Executive Director Cliff Rosenthal remarked that no trade association wants to go up against one of its own members, but he said the organization felt it had to not only try to get its investments and deposits back from the credit union but also uphold the credit union principle of financial transparency. In the end, the Federation was out $250,000 on its secondary capital investment, but its investors did not lose a dime though the Federation’s reserves took a hit. “No investor that has made their investment through the Federation has ever lost a cent and we’ve built up reserves to ensure that’s never going to happen,” Rosenthal said.

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