LYNCHBURG, Va. -- A former branch manager for Blue Ridge FCU was sentenced this afternoon to five years of probation and $101,000 restitution for a bookkeeping scheme she used to hide insufficient funds checks drawn by a business owned by her brother-in-law and nephew.

Dala Freitas, 57, used her position as branch manager of Limitorque FCU, later Blue Ridge FCU, to enter deposits for $100,977 from her family’s sewer and drain cleaning business without processing the checks. Instead, she sat on 15 checks from the spring through the fall of 2002, allowing her family’s business to make payroll, including payments to Freitas for bookkeeping services, court records show.

After discovering the scheme, the credit union’s board of directors opted to grant the business a $180,000 loan to cover the bad checks, but the business defaulted anyway.

"Ms. Freitas abused her position with the Blue Ridge Federal Credit Union and stole funds in order to benefit members of her family," said U.S. Attorney Timothy Heaphy. "Her greed motivated her to violate the trust placed in bank employees.”

 

 

 

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