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Press Release

Credit Union Supervisor Pleads Guilty To Embezzling More Than $437,000

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Crystal Ferreira, 27, of Fall River, Mass., faces up to 30 years in federal prison when she is sentenced in January, having pled guilty on October 4, 2013, to embezzling more than $437,000 from a Columbus Credit Union branch office in East Providence where she was employed as a supervisor, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; East Providence Police Chief Joseph H. Tavares; and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office of the FBI.

At the time of her guilty plea to one count of embezzlement from a federally insured credit union, Ferreira admitted to the court that beginning in May 2012 she began taking large sums of money from the credit union’s vault, ATM, and cash shipments delivered to the credit union. According to information presented to the court, on September 18, 2012, during an investigation by East Providence Police into an unrelated robbery of the credit union, Ferreira admitted that she had been embezzling funds. She told police she embezzled the funds in response to a demand for cash being made to her by two men she said threatened her, her co-workers and their families. She later recanted the story of the demand for cash and the threats.

Ferreira admitted to the court that beginning in May 2012, she first took $10,000 from the vault, and replaced it with money from the ATM.  She took another $10,000 a few weeks later.  On another day, Ferreira admitted to the court, on several occasions she placed as much bundled cash as she could in shopping bags which she later removed from the credit union.  In addition, Ferreira admitted to embezzling two bulk money shipments of $65,000 each which were delivered to the branch office but which she never entered into the computer system. A Credit union audit determined that Ferreira embezzled $437, 250.

Ferreira is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. on January 9, 2014.  At sentencing, Ferreira faces statutory penalties of up to 30 years in federal prison to be followed by up to 5years supervised release and a fine of up to $1,000,000.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin S. Towbin.

The matter was investigated by East Providence Police with the assistance of the FBI.


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Contact: 401-709-5357

Updated June 22, 2015