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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Louisville Metro Police Officer’s Credit Union Vice President Pleads Guilty To Fraud

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The former Vice President of the Louisville Metro Police Officer’s Credit Union has been charged and pleaded guilty to a two count Information with fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney Russell Coleman.  

“We expect our bankers to be of the highest integrity, especially those that serve the families of Louisville’s Finest,” stated U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “When financial professionals abandon this high standard, robust federal prosecution awaits.”

Josephine M. Crowe, 46, of Louisville, Kentucky, was charged in a criminal Information with one count of financial institution fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft as part of a scheme to defraud the Louisville Metro Police Officer’s Credit Union of over $3 million during a four year period.

According to the Information, beginning no later than January 2013, and continuing to on or about November 22, 2017, Crowe stole cash from the Credit Union’s vault and teller drawers. In order to compensate for the depletion of cash the defendant engaged in various methods to obtain cash for day-to-day operations including: instructing Credit Union employees, members, and others to withdraw cash from an ATM using either a debit card she provided or the individual’s personal debit card and return the cash to her for Credit Union operating needs; (b) obtaining credit card cash advances from members’ credit cards; (c) wire transferring funds to external accounts at various other financial institutions and then obtaining cash from the transfer; and (d) recording fictitious, unauthorized loans and using the proceeds of these loans to issue an Official Check, which she directed individuals to cash at local pawn shops or financial institutions and to return the cash proceeds to her so that she could then place it in the Credit Union’s vault and teller drawers.

As part of the scheme, Crowe created hundreds of fictitious, unauthorized loans by generating fraudulent loan documents and agreements between the Credit Union and unwitting Credit Union members in order to cover up her theft of cash from the Credit Union’s vault and teller drawers and to obtain funds owned by and under the custody and control of the Credit Union. She also created additional fictitious, unauthorized loans to generate proceeds that she used to make payments on legitimate loans that had outstanding balances at the Credit Union, without the knowledge of the either the Credit Union member in whose identity she was creating the fictitious loan, or the member for whose benefit the loan payment was being made. 

On or about September 15, 2016, Crowe created a fictitious, unauthorized loan for $100,000 in the name of a member of the Credit Union (“Member 1”) without the knowledge and consent of Member 1, collateralizing the loan with a certificate of deposit owned by Member 1.  She then deposited the loan proceeds, into an account held by Member 1 at the Credit Union and, approximately fifteen days later withdrew the entirety of the $100,000 loan proceeds from the account in the form of cash. Crowe used the name, social security number, and date of birth of Member 1 of the credit union, during and in relation to the fraud.

At sentencing, Crowe could receive a minimum term of imprisonment of 24 months, a maximum term of imprisonment of 32 years, a combined maximum fine of $1.25 million, followed by no more than 3 years of supervised release. The defendant could also be ordered to pay restitution to the National Credit Union Administration, as the liquidating agent for the Louisville Metro Police Officer’s Credit Union.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Zimdahl and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

 

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Updated July 2, 2019