Theresa Portillo Sentenced to 6½ Years in Prison for Looting Feminist CU
The Dallas Morning News reported that Theresa Portillo, who embezzled $3.4 million from the failed $2 million Women’s Southwest FCU, was sentenced Friday to 6 ½ years in prison after pleading guilty to the crime in January.
The NCUA liquidated the Dallas-based credit union in November. According to the FBI, Portillo sold 18 credit union-owned certificates to other institutions and pocketed the proceeds, using the cash to buy nine properties in the Dallas area, a Mexican time share in Cabo San Lucas, jewelry, vehicles, vacations, and pay bills for herself, family members and friends.
Portillo was also ordered by pay $3.4 million in restitution and agreed to forfeit the properties and jewelry she illegally obtained.
Women’s Southwest FCU was one of several feminist credit unions that were chartered in the early 1970s to provide women with credit in an era when women could not typically acquire a loan in their own names.
The Dallas credit union was formed when local activists, attending a lecture by Gloria Steinem in 1973, asked the Ms. Magazine editor how they could assist in the women’s movement.
“Start a credit union,” she said, according to the shuttered credit union’s website.