The ploy led to the collapse of the Consumer Credit Union in Denison
SIOUX CITY – A Denison woman, who embezzled nearly $ 1.5 million from the Consumer Credit Union, was sentenced to three years in federal prison on Friday.
Brenda Jensen, 53, had previously pleaded guilty in district court in the United States to embezzlement by a credit union.
The embezzlement caused the insolvency of Denison’s credit union, forcing its merger with the SAC Federal Credit Union.
In a plea deal, Jensen admitted to embezzling the money while working as the credit union’s chief teller from May 2012 to March 2018.
Jensen and at least one other employee – Jensen’s sister Janine Keim – embezzled nearly $ 1.5 million during those dates, court documents show.
Keim, 68, of Denison, was the CEO of the credit union and pleaded guilty in May to falsifying financial records to hide embezzlement. She will be condemned once the pre-sentence report is completed.
The credit union had customers in Crawford, Carroll, Shelby, Ida, Monona, Sac and Harrison counties in west-central Iowa.
Court documents indicate that Jensen managed to cover up his crime from auditors and his employer for years by overestimating the credit union’s ledger balance and creating fictitious deposits in his personal accounts. This resulted in losses of $ 922,480.
After years of embezzlement, employees developed an internal kiting system – using float time until checks cleared to make it look like there was more money in an account. current than there actually was.
The scheme caused an additional $ 539,000 in losses.
Consumer credit assets have shrunk by more than $ 1 million as a direct result of Jensen’s criminal activity, prosecutors said.
Former members of the credit union board of directors submitted victim impact statements to U.S. District Chief Justice Leonard Strand to show the harm Jensen’s crime had caused to the community of 8,000 people.
For some, the credit union was the only institution willing to provide emergency credit. A former board member recalled a single parent with three children who couldn’t get an emergency loan elsewhere but was helped by the credit union, according to the U.S. prosecutor’s office.
Strand sentenced Jensen to 36 months in prison and ordered him to pay more than $ 1.4 million in restitution. She must also serve two years of supervised release after jail.
The case was pursued by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Timmons and was investigated by the FBI.
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