Posted on: August 6, 2019

Ex-credit union employee pleads guilty to embezzlement


Close monitoring of finances is particularly vital at banks and other financial institutions. In many cases, access to both company and customer funds is built into the jobs of all or most employees at such enterprises. Accounts payable audits have a key role to play at these firms – and a recent case served as a reminder of this fact.

The Credit Union Times recently reported that Teresa Humphries of Madison Heights, Va., pleaded guiltyto charges that she embezzled more than $1 million belonging to the Lynrocten Federal Credit Union, where she formerly worked as a teller. In the wake of Humphries' theft, the Lynchburg, Va.-based financial institution had to shut its doors.

Humphries' scheme was an ongoing, long-term operation that was implemented on a regular basis. According to the news source, Humphries stole between $3,000 and $4,000 every month between 2007 and 2013.

"Her brazen and persistent acts of fraud violated the trust placed in her by the Lynrocten Credit Union and its customers," United States Attorney Timothy Heaphy commented, according to the news source. "This office will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute instances of financial fraud and do our best to provide restitution to the victims of these crimes."

Errors add up. Learn the true cost of these mistakes, as well as best practices to reduce and recover losses in our guide.

According to The Roanoke Times, the U.S. Attorney's Office claimed that Humphries had help from the credit union's manager in the fraudulent scheme. The 56-year-old woman alleged to investigators that she worked alongside Linda Newcomb, her supervisor, for more than 10 years in stealing credit union funds by taking out fraudulent loans in the names of the organization's customers and then depositing the funds into family accounts. Newcomb, however, has denied these allegations, and Humphries opted to withdraw her statement at a later date.

Meanwhile, the Culpeper, Va.-based Northern Piedmont Federal Credit Union has filed a civil case against Humphries, Newcomb and Becky Nichols, another former teller at Lynrocten.

Sign up to receive the latest updates from the experts at Technology Insights.