Dallas Woman Admits Embezzling At Least $3.4 Million From Women’s Southwest Federal Credit Union (WSFCU)
Theresa Portillo Was Chief Executive Officer at the Now Defunct WSFCU
DALLAS – Theresa Portillo, 44, of Dallas, pleaded guilty late yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renée Harris Toliver to a felony Information charging one count of embezzlement of funds from a credit union, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Portillo faces a maximum statutory sentence of 30 years in federal prison, a $1 million fine and restitution. In addition, according to the terms of the plea agreement, Portillo voluntarily agrees to forfeit several parcels of real estate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as well as personal property and a timeshare in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Portillo will remain on bond pending sentencing, which is set for May 10, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn.
According to documents filed in the case, from 2001 to October 2012, while employed at the credit union, including the time she served as its Chief Executive Officer, Portillo used deception to fraudulently obtain at least $3,421,000 from 18 different financial institutions in connection with her sale of several certificates of deposits (CDs). She used online services to contact several financial institutions interested in purchasing CD accounts at the credit union.
When a financial institution was willing to purchase a CD, Portillo gave the financial institution wiring instructions to send the purchase funds to a JP Morgan Chase account in the name of the credit union. Portillo used this Chase account to enable the embezzlement because she knew that credit union officials thought the account was inactive; the account wasn’t recorded on the credit union’s general ledger; and she had sole control of the account. Portillo also concealed her theft of stolen credit union funds by opening a separate credit union account using a false and fictitious name. Portillo avoided detection of the scheme by writing checks using this fictitious name to disburse stolen credit union funds.
After the financial institutions wired funds into the Chase account, Portillo fraudulently disbursed and used these embezzled and stolen credit union funds to purchase motor vehicles, real property and jewelry for her personal use, as well as for family and friends. She also used embezzled funds to pay credit card bills, fund vacations, pay family medical expenses and remodel houses.
The case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jarvis is in charge of the prosecution.