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Nov. 19, 2009

FORMER VP OF AREA CREDIT UNION CONVICTED OF BANK FRAUD AND AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT

(HOUSTON) - A former Senior Vice President of Area Operations for First Service Credit Union in Houston has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $30,000 from his former employer, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Christopher Allen, 41, of Houston, appeared before United States District Judge Sim Lake today and pleaded guilty to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft arising from a scheme he devised while employed as the Vice President of First Service Credit Union to steal more than $30,000 from the credit union’s customer accounts. First Service Credit Union is located in Houston.

As the Senior Vice President of Area Operations, Allen was responsible for managing and supervising credit union employees and the daily operations of the branches of the credit union. Allen used his position as a Senior Vice President to transfer money from one customer’s account into another customer’s account without their knowledge or consent. He would then withdraw the funds using ATM cards he also obtained without the customer’s consent from the second customer’s account. From Dec. 1, 2006, through Jan. 31, 2008, Allen conducted more than 200 ATM illegal account transfers and illegal ATM withdrawals defrauding the credit union of more than $30,000.

Allen’s fraud was discovered in 2008 when a first Service Credit Union customer reported suspicious activity in her account to the credit union. The United States Secret Service investigated the case.

Allen faces possible imprisonment of up to 30 years and a fine not to exceed $1,000,000 and five years supervised release for bank fraud. Allen faces an additional imprisonment of two years and a fine not to exceed $250,000 and one year supervised release for aggravated identity theft. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Allen agreed to pay restitution to First Service Credit Union. Sentencing is set for Feb. 12, 2010. 

Allen has been permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Vernon Lewis is prosecuting the case.

 

 

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