ANTIOCH, Calif. — Just in time to supply some Christmas cheer, the Antioch Schools Federal Credit Union is drawing praise in a Dec. 13th editorial in the Contra Costa Times and from the city's Deputy District Attorney Lynn Uikema for alerting authorities to a man trying to rip off an elderly member's CU savings.

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Suspicious over a $23,000 wire transfer from the man's share savings account to buy an annuity after years of inactivity, ASFCU CEO Rob Greaff and his staffers were keeping a close eye on World War II veteran Jack Whittaker's account. Whittaker had befriended a man who convinced him to withdraw hundreds of dollars at a time, turning it over to him. Before the CU made the inquiry that led to the arrest of ex-felon Joe Gonzales —now serving a 10-year sentence for elder theft–he had stolen more than $100,000 from Whittaker's other bank accounts. Only the credit union raised a red flag.

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The California State Legislature-passed Financial Elder Abuse Reporting Act went into effect in January. It requires all employees of financial institutions –banks, credit unions and savings and loans– to contact the police department or Adult Protective Services if they suspect that an elderly person is a victim of financial abuse. "It's a shame that we even need a law to compel people to do what is so clearly the moral thing to do," stated the newspaper's editorial.

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