May 17, 2019
By Dominic J Bartolone
Contributing Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday – Credit Union VP Pleads Guilty to Fraud
A former credit union vice president from Vancleave, Mississippi, pled guilty to theft from a credit union in U.S. District Court in Gulfport.
Merideth Christina McMillan, 46, was accused of stealing more than $350,000 from the Moss Point branch of Singing River Federal Credit Union where she worked as a vice president of member services. The scheme was uncovered during a routine financial audit in August 2018 after suspicious transactions were discovered.
According to prosecutors, the fraud began in October 2017, as “Christi,” which is the name McMillan went by, worked in a function at the bank that gave her access to customer information.
The indictment states that McMillan “willfully misapplied, embezzled, abstracted, and purloined the sum of more than $350,000 of money, funds, and credits.”
Federal prosecutors say that McMillan carried out the fraud by going into the bank’s computer system and releasing collateral that was held as a security interest against loans made by the bank. Once the collateral was released, she used it to borrower money for herself under other customers’ names.
Investigators found that in 2017, McMillan accessed a customer’s information, without her consent, to take out several unsecured loans. The loans ranged from between $5,000 and $60,000. McMillan also used a friend’s name and the customer’s money market account information to take out a loan for $47,500.
During trial, the credit union noted that the money was insured, allowing it to recover all of the stolen funds, and made it clear that no credit union members lost money from McMillan’s fraud. According to records, the credit union has more than 27,000 members, with over $207 million in assets on deposit.
In court, McMillan admitted that she used her position at the bank to embezzle more than $350,000. Prosecutors say that over a period of one year, she used multiple names of bank customers to take out fraudulent loans.
She was terminated from her position at the bank in September 2018, after an internal bank audit uncovered evidence of her illegal activity.
McMillan will be sentenced on June 24 by U.S. District Court Judge Sul Ozerden and faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and $1,000,000 fine.