Supporting a Habit

21925029 - finger pressing password number on atm machine

It can be expensive to support a habit. For example, if you like to eat out a lot, it’s easy to spend a lot of money at the drive through window or at a sit-down restaurant. (It may seem like a great idea at the time, but at the end of the month there probably won’t be much money left in your wallet.) An article in the Credit Union Times tells about a former manager from an Oklahoma Credit Union who resorted to stealing money to support her gambling habit.

The story states that the 54-year-old defendant was the former manager for a Tulsa credit union worth $491 million. The woman took out at least three false loans in the names of other people or entities without their knowledge or consent. (It looks like her position made it easy to commit the crime.) According to court records, over a three-year period, she was able to steal more than $238,000.

According to the article, she withdrew some of the cash from ATMs located at casinos.She also used the money to make payments on other illegally-obtained loans. (I’m guessing the return on investment was not so great at the casinos.)

Not only did she steal money from unsuspecting victims and the bank, she also failed to report the correct taxable income on her tax return. She grossly underreported the joint taxable income she had with her spouse. (To be exact, she left off about $150,000 in earned income. Instead of owing about $3,400 in taxes, she actually owned the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) nearly $41,000. Oops!)

The fraudster pleaded guilty to bank fraud and income tax evasion. She was sentenced to 27 months in prison and will pay restitution of $238,177 to the credit union where she previously worked. The IRS also will get more than $57,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties.

In this case, the fraudster’s gambling habit landed her in a lot of trouble. (It’s a real shame that the taxpayers she stole from also will be supporting her stay in jail.) Let’s hope this fraudster’s prison term will break her of her bad habits and yield a better investment for the future – a life without crime.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Former Manager Sentenced for Fraud,” written by Peter Strozniak and published by Credit Union Times on August 14, 2014.

Eva Barroso, a former manager for the $491 million Oklahoma Central Credit Union in Tulsa, was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in federal prison for bank fraud and income tax evasion.

U.S. District Court Judge Gregory K. Frizzell in Tulsa also ordered Barroso to pay restitution of more than $295,000.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.