States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|January 12, 2010||
WALLINGFORD WOMAN SENTENCED TO 51 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR EMBEZZLING FROM CREDIT UNION, FAILING TO PAY TAXES
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MELISSA LALIBERTE, 39, of Wallingford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 51 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for embezzling more than $700,000 from a Meriden-based credit union, and for failing to pay income taxes on the embezzled funds. On September 2, 2009, LALIBERTE pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement from a federal credit union, and one count of filing a false income tax return.
According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, from January 2004 to May 2008, while employed as a bookkeeper for the Meriden Franco-American Federal Credit Union (MFAFCU) in Meriden, LALIBERTE embezzled approximately $743,768. LALIBERTE has admitted that she took unauthorized cash from MFAFCU members that was intended to pay down loan balances, made unauthorized withdrawals from the MFAFCU accounts, drew her salary multiple times a month when she was only entitled to be paid once per month and, without authorization, used MFAFCU checks to pay personal expenses. Also, LALIBERTE failed to post cash withdrawals and loans to her and her husband’s share accounts, presented false reports to MFAFCU’s Board of Directors, and falsified deposits to her own account.
Today Judge Bryant ordered LALIBERTE to pay restitution in the amount of $743,768 to the National Credit Union Administration, and back taxes in the amount of $218,103, plus applicable penalties and interest, to the Internal Revenue Service.
On July 16, 2008, the National Credit Union Administration placed MFAFCU into liquidation. At the time of liquidation, MFAFCU served 206 members and had assets of approximately $337,968.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul H. McConnell.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Department of Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods