The former CEO of the $231 million Valor Federal Credit Union isfacing up to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to bank fraudand attempted bank fraud July 14 in U.S. District Court inScranton, Pa.

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Sean E. Jelen, 33, admitted to committing a series offraudulent schemes from July 2014 to August 2015, federalprosecutors said.

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He embezzled $718,000 to pay for credit card bills, collegetuition, his spouse's birthday party and a golf tournamentsponsorship. He also tried to steal $1.1 million by creating aforged severance contract before he was fired by the board ofdirectors in August 2015.

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About five months prior to his termination, Jelen rigged Valor'sboard of directors' election by electing an individual onlyidentified in court documents as R.T. But Jelen did this withoutR.T.'s knowledge.

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He also elected Suzanne Forrest to the board's supervisorycommittee. However, Forrest did not exist. Jelen allegedlyimpersonated both Forrest and R.T. so that he could continue hisfraud, according to court documents.

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Federal prosecutors have declined to discuss how Jelenimpersonated a board member or how he elected a fake supervisoryboard member.

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According to court documents, Jelen also agreed to forfeit ahome at Breezy Point, a New York City borough of Queens at thewestern end of the Rockaway peninsula. New York's Multiple ListingsService estimated that Jelen's house at 37 Jamaica Walk is valuedat $613,000.

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Jelen's attorney Michael Van Deer of Feasterville, Pa., did notreturn a call from CU Times seeking comment.

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Jelen was appointed president/CEO in 2012 when he was 29 yearsold. Before joining what was then called Tobyhanna Federal Credit Union, he served as COO for the $158million Palisades Credit Union in Pearl River, N.Y. He also workedon Wall Street as a controller for a mutual savings bank.

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The young, up-and-coming CEO began his fraud in July 2014 whenthe credit union changed its name and brand from Tobyhanna to Valor.

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In court documents, federal prosecutors detailed how Jelencarried out and concealed his scheme by manipulating credit unionrecords and forging documents to make the payments appearlegitimate.

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For example, he got Valor to cut a check for more than $30,000to a vendor that hosted his wife's birthday party, in part, byforging the vendor's service contract and forging a specialpurchase authorization that disguised the payments as an employmentincentive. He also altered Valor's books and records to disguisethe payments.

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Under the attempted fraud charge, federal prosecutors said Jelenforged a severance contract that provided various payments andother benefits to him, including insurance and annuity policiesworth more than $1 million.

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Court documents did not reveal how the fraud was detected. Asentencing hearing has not been scheduled yet.

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