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CEO of liquidated credit union admits embezzlement, inks plea deal

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The former CEO of a California credit union who admitted to embezzling millions of dollars has signed a plea deal related to the case.

According to court documents filed on May 13, Edward Martin Rostohar, who led CBS Employees Federal Credit Union at the time of its liquidation earlier this year, agreed to plead guilty to one count of bank fraud with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

The documents, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, noted that in the plea agreement, Rostohar admitted to carrying out a long-term scheme (lasting almost two decades) to defraud the credit union, which resulted in losses of more than $40 million.

Rostohar has also agreed to forfeit various assets, including bank accounts at Wells Fargo and Bank of America, as well as property he owned in Los Angeles, Reno, Nev., and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

He also agreed to the forfeiture of some luxury cars, luxury watches, jewelry, precious metals and coins, and $275,528 in cash.

The prosecutor is recommending a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

As reported, Rostohar, a former National Credit Union Administration examiner, made online payments to himself or stole funds by forging the signature of another worker at the credit union on checks payable to himself.

Rostohar also had told authorities that his experience as an NCUA examiner enabled him to avoid detection for a long time since he knew what examiners looked for when studying the finances at credit unions.

At the time of liquidation, CBS Employees FCU had about 2,800 members and $21 million in assets. University Credit Union of Los Angeles has assumed all assets, loans and shares of the failed institution.

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