In its 2016 annual report, the $2.8 billion Municipal Credit Union touted how its Internal Audit Department conducted more than 50 integrated audits in the credit union’s divisions of operations, compliance, IT and finance, and continuously audited the most sensitive areas of New York’s largest credit union by members.

Presumably, those audits included a review and testing of internal controls to detect and prevent internal fraud. But industry experts said those internal controls obviously broke down because of a serious lack of oversight by key personnel, the supervisory committee and the board of directors, which led to a multimillion-dollar fraud scandal by its CEO. While the consequences of this fraud case will have a lasting impact on MCU, industry experts offered insights about how executives may prevent similar circumstances from happening at their credit union.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Kam Wong, MCU’s president/CEO for 11 years, stole millions of dollars from the credit union through various fraudulent schemes between 2013 and 2018, and spent $3.5 million of the money on New York lottery tickets. A criminal complaint, based on the findings of a federal investigation, was filed in Manhattan’s federal court on May 8 and alleges that the 62-year-old Wong committed fraud, embezzlement and aggravated identify theft.

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Peter Strozniak


Credit Union Times

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