Former Credit Union Teller Admits Embezzling Over $23,000 from Customer Accounts
POCATELLO – Virginia Mecham, 40, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, pleaded guilty today an information charging her with one count of embezzlement by a credit union employee, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. The information was filed in United States District Court in Pocatello on January 31, 2013.
According to the plea agreement, in August 2011, customers of Westmark Credit Union in Idaho Falls contacted the credit union to inquire about unauthorized withdrawals from their accounts. An examination of the questionable transactions determined they were all handled by Mecham, a credit union teller. During an interview with bank officials, Mecham admitted embezzling the money and admitted that she spent it on various personal expenses. Mecham agreed to pay full restitution of $23,625.
The charge of embezzlement by a credit union employee is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, a maximum fine of $1 million, and up to three years of supervised release.
Sentencing is set for April 30, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Today's announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
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