OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
William J. Ihlenfeld, II
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist
February 23, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Former Credit Union CEO Sentenced to
9 Years Imprisonment
WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA — United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that BERNIE D. METZ, who served as the Chief Executive Officer and Manager of the Center Valley Federal Credit Union, was sentenced today to 108 months imprisonment to be followed by five years supervised release by Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr. in United States District Court in Wheeling. The Court also ordered METZ to pay restitution in the amount of $4,657,869.00 to the National Credit Union Administration and $200,000.00 to The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge 2029 from North Canton, Ohio.
USA Ihlenfeld also stated that as part of the sentence handed down by the Court, METZ must forfeit all remaining property seized from her at the time of her arrest and acquired by her during the time of her scheme, including: the Roadworthy Tavern and Resort in West Liberty; $14,036.75 in funds seized from bank accounts; and several vehicles.
“The prison sentence imposed today upon Bernie Metz brings an end to her sophisticated scheme to defraud the Center Valley Federal Credit Union and its members,” said USA Ihlenfeld. “She embezzled millions of dollars over the past ten years and used the credit union as her own personal piggy bank. Due to the convictions obtained in this matter, her opulent lifestyle has ended. Things will be much different for Bernie Metz behind bars, and she will no longer enjoy the life of luxury to which she had become accustomed.”
METZ, age 57, previously entered guilty pleas on January 4, 2010, to two counts of an Information charging her with embezzlement and money laundering. At the time Metz plead guilty, the Government presented evidence that an audit conducted by the National Credit Union Administration revealed that millions of dollars in funds were missing from the credit union in January of 2009. As a result of the discrepancy, the credit union was liquidated in February of 2009, and a criminal investigation was commenced into METZ’s activities by the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
At the time she entered her guilty plea last January, the Government presented evidence detailing the various methods used by METZ over the years to embezzle funds from the credit union and appropriate them to her own use. United States Attorney Ihlenfeld urged the Court today to consider the scope of the crime and its devastating impact upon the credit union members and their families as well as upon the community at large. Ihlenfeld told the Court that his office has personally met with credit union members who believe they were victimized by the defendant’s crimes, or have unresolved issues and financial losses with respect to their credit union accounts.
“While a number of former credit union members chose to meet with me and my staff in person to discuss their issues, I know that there are many more similarly situated people who still are having problems with their credit union accounts, whether they are upside down on their automobile loans or they feel they are being unfairly harassed by collection calls,” said USA Ihlenfeld. “My message to those people is to make sure that they fully explore all of their rights under state and federal law, and to make sure that their legal rights are not being violated in any way.”
METZ is free on bond pending placement at a Bureau of Prisons facility.
Along with Ihlenfeld, the case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert H. McWilliams, Jr. and Michael D. Stein. The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Marshals Service.
Call 1-855-WVA-FEDS or Email email@example.com if you have information about public corruption in your community.