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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Former CEO Of Scranton Area Federal Credit Union Charged With Bank Fraud

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that the former Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of Scranton-based Valor Federal Credit Union (“Valor”), formerly known as Tobyhanna Federal Credit Union, has been charged in an Information with bank fraud and attempted bank fraud.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the charges filed in U.S. District Court in Scranton allege that Sean E. Jelen, age 33, committed and attempted to commit a series of fraudulent activities from July 2014 to August 2015.  During the majority of that time, Jelen served as the CEO of Valor.  All of the alleged fraudulent activities were associated with Valor and many allegedly involved forged and altered documents created by Jelen.

The Information charges Jelen with executing a scheme to defraud Valor of approximately $718,000, some of which went to pay for his personal credit card, his graduate tuition, his spouse’s birthday party, and a golf tournament sponsorship. 

The Information also charges Jelen with rigging elections held for the Valor Board of Directors, whereby he elected and subsequently impersonated fictitious members of the Board of Directors and its Supervising Committee. 

The Information further charges Jelen with attempting to obtain an additional approximate $1,146,000 through fraudulent means, and with creating a forged severance contract that would be triggered by his termination.

Valor is a federal credit union, its assets are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) which also supervises and regulates it.

The Information seeks forfeiture of property obtained as a result of the fraud, including a residence located in New York.  The government also filed a plea agreement with Jelen to the alleged charges, which is subject to approval of the court. A date for his initial appearance has not been set.  Valor terminated Jelen’s employment in August.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John Gurganus, Evan Gotlob and Phil Caraballo.  Valor’s current management is cooperating with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law for the charges is 60 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

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Updated June 15, 2016