SAVANAH, Ga. -- The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance demanded that the so-called Georgia Entertainer's Credit Union stop claiming to be a state-chartered credit union based in Smyrna, Ga., according to a cease-and-desist order made public Friday.

"The department has no record of Georgia Entertainer's Credit Union and has not approved this entity to organize a credit union and/or conduct a credit union business in Georgia," Robert Braswell, the state's banking commissioner, wrote in the order.

The department first warned an Entertainer's manager, Aneesah Bray-LaStrape, in April. It received a response from Bray-LaStrape that it described as "inadequate."

A voicemail message picked up Friday at a phone number listed for Entertainer's. It says Entertainer's is "not open to take your savings dollars at our branch" but urges consumers to sign up for membership online to receive "deep discounts" on products and services. Bray-LaStrape is the founder, the message says.

Braswell ordered Entertainer's to stop marketing itself as a credit union and immediately refund its members' money. If Entertainer's does not respond by July 18, the department will refer the matter to Georgia's attorney general, the order said.

 

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