A whistleblower lawsuit filed Feb. 27 in New York District Court claims a former CEO of the $145 million Ukrainian National FCU suffered discrimination and retaliation so severe, it caused her to suffer a heart attack and default on her mortgage loan.

Plaintiff Christine Balko claims in the suit that the New York-based credit union's board–in particular, long-time volunteer Vsevolod Salenko–objected to her reporting of federal regulatory violations to the NCUA and responded with retaliation and threats. 

The rift allegedly began after Balko had been managing the credit union for four years, and reported to the NCUA board election bylaw and protocol violations, the purchase of prohibited investments and the misappropriation of funds by a branch manager in May 2009. According to court documents, that complaint triggered an NCUA audit that revealed an inadequate governance model, lowered the credit union's CAMEL rating to a 4, earned it the troubled condition label and resulted in a letter of understanding from the regulator to correct the findings.

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