CLINTON, Tenn. – The president of now-defunct Anderson County Employees FCU admitted stealing more than $242,000 from the courthouse-based credit union.

Shirley McKinney, 53, pleaded guilty to theft of more than $60,000, two counts of forgery involving more than $10,000 and two counts of forgery over $1,000.

Her pleas netted her an effective 15-year prison sentence, but she will be placed on supervised probation after serving 9 1/2 months in the Anderson County Jail.

McKinney is to report to jail next month, records show, and she was ordered to repay $242,511.

Money was discovered missing from the credit union during a routine audit Jan. 19, 2010. McKinney was immediately put on supervised leave without pay. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was asked to look into allegations that McKinney was making unauthorized withdrawals from credit union members’ accounts.

Along with the thefts by withdrawals, McKinney also forged two members’ names on loan agreements for more than $10,000, and forged another member’s name on documents for two loans of more than $1,000.

Shortly after the thefts and forgeries were discovered, the credit union’s board of directors voted to seek a merger with the Knoxville Teachers FCU. That move was approved in September 2010.

Court documents indicate McKinney received a reduced sentence in exchange for her acceptance of strict guidelines to assure repayment of the stolen money.

McKinney’s husband agreed to name Knoxville Teachers FCU the beneficiary of his 401(k) plan and his life insurance policy, and the couple pledged to make “good faith efforts” to sell farmland they own and use proceeds to make restitution, records show.

Before the thefts were discovered, the Anderson County Employees CU had more than 600 members who were either Anderson County government employees or employees of the county and Clinton school systems.


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