The president and CEO of a credit union in New York has been charged in relation to embezzlement from that company. The embezzling went on from at least 2013 to 2018 and involved millions of dollars.

The man allegedly used a number of different methods to cover up his embezzling. He submitted invoices and received reimbursements for hundreds of thousands of dollars in dental work. Other methods he reportedly used to conceal his activity included cash withdrawals to test ATMs, living and educational expenses for acquaintances he had the credit union hire as interns, cash advances, and pay for more than 300 days of unused sick leave. He allegedly used some of the money to buy more than $3.5 million in lottery tickets among other purchases.

He found out the investigation was underway in early 2018, and according to reports, he misled board members and federal agents about his activity. In February, the board of directors put him on leave. He is charged with one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of wire fraud, one count of bank fraud and one count of embezzlement.

Embezzlement, fraud and similar acts are often referred to as “white collar crimes”. Some people may assume that the penalties associated with these charges are lighter than for violent crimes, but this is not necessarily the case. People who have been questioned in relation to these types of activities might want to consult an attorney even if they do not believe themselves to be the target of the investigation or that they have engaged in any wrongdoing. Investigators may not make it immediately apparent who the target is, and people may volunteer information that could later be used against them.

Source: NBC New York, “CEO of New York’s Oldest Credit Union Faces Fraud and Embezzlement Charges“, Kam Wong, May 8, 2018