Oct. 20, 2009
CREDIT UNION MANAGER CONVICTED OF EMBEZZLEMENT
(HOUSTON) – The former manager of the Saint John Vianney Federal Credit Union has pleaded guilty to two counts of embezzlement of a credit union without benefit of a plea agreement, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on Aug. 20, 2009.
Donna Gonzalez, 40, of Houston, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge David Hittner. Gonzalez admitted that from Sept. 22, 2006, to Feb. 22, 2008, while employed as a manager of the Saint John Vianney Federal Credit Union, located at 625 Nottingham Oaks Trail in Houston, she defrauded the federally-insured credit union, as well as some of its customers, of approximately $60,000. Gonzalez used her position at the Credit Union to embezzle funds from dormant accounts issuing official checks made payable to Bank of America, without authorization, which were negotiated against funds in the Credit Union dormant customers’ accounts. She then deposited the fraudulently obtained checks into her personal bank account.
Gonzalez faces up to 30 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine at sentencing which Judge Hittner has set for Jan. 14, 2010. Gonzalez has been permitted to remain on bond pending her sentencing hearing.
The charges against Gonzalez are the result of an investigation conducted by the United States Secret Service and the Houston Area Fraud Task Force. The case was initiated in July 2009 after customers reviewed their statements and complained to the credit union who, in turn, notified law enforcement authorities. Special Assistant United States Attorney Justo A. Mendez is prosecuting the case.
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