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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 1, 2018

Former CEO Of Scranton Federal Credit Union Sentenced To 70 Months’ Imprisonment

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion sentenced Sean Jelen, age 35, of Breezy Point, NY, to 70 months’ imprisonment and four years of supervised release on January 31, 2018, for bank fraud and attempted bank fraud offenses.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Jelen served as the CEO of Valor Federal Credit Union (Valor), now known as Pentagon Federal Credit Union, from 2012 to 2015.  In July 2016, Jelen pleaded guilty to defrauding and attempting to defraud Valor and several insurance companies, both before and after his tenure as CEO.  Jelen’s criminal activities, many of which involved the use of forged and altered documents, and the impersonation of others, included:

  • Causing Valor to pay $34,500 of his personal credit card debt by forging a fake service contract between Valor and a non-existent entity;
  • Obtaining a $450,000 line of credit from Valor by using altered bank records to conceal his existing mortgage liability;
  • Causing Valor to pay over $30,000 to fund his wife’s birthday party, by forging a fake service contract between Valor and a non-existent entity;
  • Embezzling nearly $140,000 from Valor by causing it to double-pay his life insurance premium directly to his own bank account;
  • Rigging the Valor Board of Directors election to elect two candidates who he subsequently impersonated;
  • Causing Valor to fund a $25,000 golf tournament sponsorship at his alma mater, while altering records to disguise it as a donation to a local soup kitchen;
  • Providing false documents to the National Credit Union Administration to deflect its investigation of his activities;
  • Forging a severance contract in an attempt to trigger millions of dollars in payouts and benefits upon his termination from Valor;
  • Attempting to obtain the surrender value of various life insurance contracts owned by Valor; and
  • Impersonating his physician, psychiatrist, and former employee in an attempt to obtain disability insurance payments after his termination from Valor.

In pronouncing the sentence, Judge Mannion highlighted the disturbing nature of Jelen’s conduct, and that his criminal activities continued after he was aware of the federal criminal investigation.  Judge Mannion also focused on Jelen’s use of embezzled money to fund life luxuries, naming greed and power as his motivation.

Judge Mannion ordered Jelen to pay $694,971.88 in restitution to the victims of his crimes.  The United States is seeking forfeiture of a vacation home in Breezy Point, New York, that Jelen purchased with the proceeds of his frauds.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Phil Caraballo and Evan Gotlob.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated February 1, 2018