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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BETH PHILLIPS


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.justice.gov./index.html


MAY 7, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


CREDIT UNION MANAGER PLEADS GUILTY

TO EMBEZZLING NEARLY $400,000


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to embezzling nearly $400,000 from the credit union where she was employed as a branch manager.


            Joyce Buchanan, 55, of Kansas City, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright this morning to a two-count information that charges her with theft from a credit institution and with bank fraud.


            Buchanan was the branch manager at Media First Credit Union (now First Financial Credit Union), which serves employees of The Kansas City Star and is located in the Kansas City Star building at 1729 Grand, Kansas City, Mo. Buchanan admitted that, while she was employed by the credit union between Dec. 9, 2002, and Jan. 16, 2007, she embezzled $198,250.


            Buchanan also admitted that, during the same period of time, she engaged in a scheme to defraud Media First Credit Union. Buchanan falsely represented to the credit union that legitimate loans totaling $198,553 were made to individuals. In reality, however, Buchanan made the loans payable to herself in the form of cash and checks that she was not entitled to receive.


            Under federal statutes, Buchanan is subject to a sentence of up to 60 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $2 million. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Mahoney. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

http://www.justice.gov./index.html