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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Former Credit Union Branch Manager Pleads Guilty

Dala Nelson Freitas Faces Possible Prison Term

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA -- The former branch manager of Blue Ridge Federal Credit Union in Lynchburg pled guilty this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg to a false bookkeeping charge.

Dala Nelson Freitas, 57, of Lynchburg, Va. waived her right to be indicted and pled guilty this morning to a one count Information charging her with making false entries in the books and records of Blue Ridge Federal Credit Union.

According to evidence presented at today’s hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Jennie Waering, Freitas was the branch manager at Blue Ridge Federal Credit Union from 1997 until April 2003.

Freitas has admitted that between May 2002 through August 2002 she accepted 15 deposited checks totaling $100,977 from Clean Rite Sewer and Drain Cleaning. The 15 checks were never deposited into the credit union’s depository account, instead, Freitas posted the checks to Clean Rite’s federal credit union account, from which payroll checks were subsequently written. Freitas knew and understood the checks had insufficient funds to cover them and this was the reason she never presented them for clearing. Clean Rite used the funds to meet its payroll obligations.

The owners of Clean Rite Sewer and Drain Cleaning was Freitas’ brother-in-law and nephew. At the time of the offense, Freitas was being paid by Clean Rite to handle the company’s bookkeeping.

At sentencing, The maximum penalty faced by the defendant is up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000,000. Freitas has also agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $100,977.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jennie L.M. Waering is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated April 15, 2015