OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
Sharon L. Potter
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist
August 3, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Former Credit Union CEO Indicted
WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA — A 56 year old Valley Grove, West Virginia, resident was named in an Indictment returned today (August 3, 2009) by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Wheeling.
United States Attorney Sharon L. Potter announced that BERNIE D. METZ was named in a two-count Indictment charging her with embezzlement and money laundering. Count One of the Indictment alleges that METZ, an employee of the Center Valley Federal Credit Union, embezzled and misapplied $9,000,000 of money, funds, credits, and other things of value belonging to the Center Valley Federal Credit Union beginning in at least 2004 and continuing until January 2009. Count Two of the Indictment alleges that on July 27, 2007, METZ caused a forged check to be drawn on the operating account of the Center Valley Federal Credit Union and made payable to the construction company which was building a restaurant and cabins in which she had a financial interest.
The Indictment also includes a Forfeiture Allegation wherein the United States seeks to forfeit from METZ any property constituting or derived from the fraud offense alleged in the Indictment, including a money judgment in the amount of approximately $9,000,000. It is also the intent of the United States to seek the forfeiture of any property involved in the money laundering offense alleged in the Indictment, including the Roadworthy Restaurant and Tavern and/or the Roadworthy Resort in West Liberty and a money judgment in the amount of at least $200,000. The entry of a money judgment enables the government to forfeit the total amount of the proceeds of the offense when such proceeds have not yet been located.
The Indictment states that if any forfeitable property cannot be located; has been transferred or sold to or deposited with a third party; has been placed beyond the jurisdiction of the Court; has substantially diminished in value, or has been commingled with other property, it is the intent of the United States to seek the forfeiture of substitute property up to the value of the forfeitable property described above, including:
◆ Residential property located in Valley Grove owned by METZ and her husband;
◆ A 2005 Toyota Tundra vehicle;
◆ A 2009 Mercedes SLK 300; and
◆ Funds seized from all bank accounts in which defendant had signature authority.
If convicted, METZ faces a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000 on Count One of the Indictment; and a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count Two of the Indictment.
According to USA Potter, the accounts of the Center Valley Federal Credit Union were insured by the National Credit Union Administration Board. In addition to this Indictment, administrative proceedings, civil proceedings, and the investigation are ongoing.
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert H. McWilliams, Jr. and Michael D. Stein. The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division, and the United States Marshals Service.
It should be noted that the charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt, and that each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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