June 23, 2016
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday — Valor Federal Credit Union ex-CEO Pleads Guilty to Stealing $718,000 and Impersonating Board Members
Pennsylvania-based Valor Credit Union’s former CEO has pled guilty to two counts of bank fraud. Sean Jelen says he stole $718,000 for his wife’s birthday party, a bunch of personal expenses and a golf tournament sponsorship.
And, he forged a number of documents to secure a $1.1 million payout upon hearing of his termination last year.
Finally, he created two straw-board of directors that did not exist, but were impersonated by him.
His criminal acts:
- Forged a contract between the credit union and a shell company for $34,500 that was used to pay off his personal credit cards.
- Received a $350,000 home equity line of credit from Valor by submitting an application that contained doctored documents — such as his credit report, property report and bank statement — to disguise his outstanding liabilities. He later increased the line to $450,000 by forging a board of director authorization.
- Bought a grandfather clock for $20,000 by forging a document that disguised the purchase a bonus.
- Forged a purchase order for $30,271.60 to pay for his wife’s birthday party.
- Collected nearly $140,000 by stating the payment would be applied to a life insurance policy, one Valor already paid.
- Cut a Valor check for a personal $25,000 golf tournament sponsorship held for his alma mater, St. Francis College. Jelen altered Valor’s board of director meeting minutes and forged bank statements and a letter to hide the payment as a charitable donation to a soup kitchen.
- Forged the signature of a board member to have Valor pay $18,650 to Temple University for his personal tuition
- He also rigged a board of directors election to elect a person, who was identified in the court paperwork as “R.T.”, to the board without the individual’s knowledge. The election also elevated Suzanne Forrest, who does not exist, to the board. He impersonated both people thereafter.
- Finally, Sean created a slew of other forged documents to secure over a $1 million severance package.
Terminated on August 19, 2015, Sean was arrested by Scranton police on DUI charges the morning of the 20th.
He finally returned the company Mercedes Benz S550 ($100k value) provided to him over a month later after the credit union filed a missing vehicle report with police.
He awaits sentencing.