U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Bissoon in Pittsburgh sentenceda former president/CEO of an Ohio credit union Tuesday to two yearsin federal prison.

|

In April, Charles Robert Poore, 45, pleaded guilty toembezzlement when he was president/CEO of the $50 million ToledoMetro FCU. Judge Bissoon also ordered him to pay $251,438 inrestitution and serve five years of supervised released followinghis prison term.

|

Poore's lawyer, Jay J. Finkelstein requested a reduced sentencebecause his client had no previous criminal record, was makingrestitutions payments and was not a threat to the community.

|

But Judge Bissoon may have been swayed to send Poore to prisonafter reading strongly worded letters from the Toledo Metro's board ofdirector and its president/CEO.

|

After the board hired Poore, who had a professional backgroundin finance and law, the credit union began to see profits that theyhad never seen in the past. His performance solidified the board'sfaith and trust in their CEO that he was making the bestrecommendations and giving them the best possible advice.

|

“When the nature and depth of C. Robb Poore's deception werediscovered, we were in absolute disbelief,” the board wrote in itsvictim impact statement. “We were angry and upset by the betrayalof someone we had trusted so much. We were, and quite frankly stillare, appalled by the bold steps he took in order to steal from afinancial institutions that went out of their way to help him on somany occasions.”

|

A TMFCU internal investigation revealed from December 2011through May 2014, the credit union paid a total of $269,593 to Visafor transactions Poore made on his corporate credit card. Most ofthose transactions primarily paid for office equipment andsupplies, according to court documents.

|

However, TMFCU's investigation could only account forapproximately 15% of the items purchased and was unable to accountfor $233,933 in transactions made by Poore.

|

The credit union found out that Poore purchased items throughhis wife's Amazon account from a third-party vendor and then soldthe items to TMFCU using his corporate credit card at asignificantly inflated cost and profit.

|

For example, Poore purchased two battery backup towers forcomputers for about $200 from an international customer using hiswife's credit card. These items were then sold from his wife'sAmazon account and charged to the TMFCU corporate credit card formore than $900, according to court documents.

|

On July 5, 2014, the board told Poore they wanted to ask himabout numerous suspicious transactions on his corporate creditcard. The next day, Poore resigned and was never seen again.Federal agents, however, caught up with him in Pittsburgh.

|

“In retrospect, C. Robb Poore took advantage of every situationthat he could,” the board continued in its letter. “He manipulatednot only the books but the people around him. Had his deception notbeen uncovered we believe he would have continued to steal until hehad ruined the financial institution known as Toledo Metro Federal Credit Union.”

|

In its letter, the board noted it made several changes so thatno one will take advantage of the board and the credit unionagain.

|

In his victim impact statement, TMFCU President/CEO DanielZimolzak noted Poore tarnished the credit union's reputation thattook years to build and it may take years to restore.

|

“Not only is the reputation risk external, but it alsoencompasses internal reputation, as my management team and I mustnow rebuild the trust and relationship the board has in ourdecision making process,” Zimolzak wrote. “White-collar crimesshould be punished with stern judgment, just as other crimes wouldbe. Although no blood is shed with white-collar crime, it adverselyaffects the lives and futures of the victims. Not consideredviolent in nature, it leaves the victims with a sense of betrayaland violation. In this case, Mr. Poore victimized more than 6,000members and employees of the Toledo Metro Federal CreditUnion.”

|

TMFCU's financial position is strong and sound.

|

It posted a net worth of 9.85% and an ROAA of 1.01% in thesecond quarter that ended June 30, according to NCUA financialperformance reports. The credit union's financials also show growthin total loans and loan income.

|

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to CUTimes.com, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical CUTimes.com information including comprehensive product and service provider listings via the Marketplace Directory, CU Careers, resources from industry leaders, webcasts, and breaking news, analysis and more with our informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and CU Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including Law.com and GlobeSt.com.
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.