Judge Gives AEA FCU Authority to Recover Lost Loan Funds
Nearly a year after AEA Federal Credit Union was placed under NCUA conservatorship, the financial institution is in court trying to recover some of the funds it allegedly lost in millions of dollars of soured business loans.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge James Marlar said the $229 million credit union in Yuma, Ariz. has the authority to access property assets owned by Realtor Todd Burch.
Burch filed a lawsuit in September for $34 million against AEA saying the credit union unfairly sued him to collect on a $17 million capitalized loan. Burch also alleged that when AEA stopped his line of credit, he was forced to declare bankruptcy.
In a separate matter, AEA is scheduled for a Dec. 16 bankruptcy hearing requesting that a petition from Frank Ruiz to discharge his debts be denied. In December 2010, Ruiz, an Arizona businessman, was charged with receiving questionable business loans in exchange for nearly $1 million in an alleged kickback scheme.
Ruiz pleaded guilty in June and is awaiting sentencing.
According to AEA’s complaint, the credit union said Ruiz should not be relieved of the debt he owes because he pled guilty
William Liddle, a former AEA vice president of business services, was also charged for his involvement in the loan arrangement. Liddle worked at AEA from November 2004 to December 2009 and approved $25 million in business loans during that time period, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office complaint.
The NCUA placed AEA in conservatorship on Dec. 17, 2010.