A woman who worked for a credit union in Southern California and her “online boyfriend” have been indicted by a federal grand jury in a case involving an alleged conspiracy to illegally secure credit lines of more than $2.6 million spanning multiple institutions.
According to a notice from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, Indira Mohabir, 41, who worked as a business loan processor at Western Federal Credit Union (since renamed UNIFY Financial FCU, currently a $2.7 billion institution), secretly opened more than 30 fraudulent lines of credit for her boyfriend, who was able to draw down approximately $1.1 million before the scheme was uncovered.
The boyfriend, Phillip Cook, appears to have recently resided in Ohio and Georgia.
The 15-count indictment charges the two defendants with conspiracy to commit financial institution fraud, eight counts of unauthorized issuance of credit union obligations and six counts of financial institution fraud.
Mohabir was initially charged in the case last year, and Cook was arrested in Ohio on July 28, after federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint in this case. Mohabir, who remains free on bond, is currently scheduled to go to trial Oct. 31.
Cook, who has been ordered held without bond, is being transported to Los Angeles by the United States Marshals Service.
The indictment says Mohabir entered into an “online relationship” with Cook in November 2014 and soon after agreed to open up lines of credit without the necessary oversight and approval from the credit union. The conspiracy lasted about three months, from late 2014 to early 2015, however the majority of the credit lines allegedly were established over just a few days in January 2015.
The court documents further allege that in exchange for opening the lines of credit and concealing them from the credit union, Cook promised to take Mohabir on trips, and sent her a $50,000 check and flowers.
If convicted, Mohabir and Cook each could face a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison on the conspiracy count and up to 30 years for each of the substantive fraud charges.
This case was the result of an ongoing investigation conducted by the FBI and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General.
The National Credit Union Administration is not a “direct participant” in this investigation, said NCUA spokesman John Fairbanks, because the original matter with the credit union has “already been resolved.”
“The credit union… will cooperate with the investigation and law enforcement,” Fairbanks added. “It is my understanding that what took place also ended up involving some banks, and so this is much broader than just one institution.”