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Credit Union closed because its CEO had her nose in the trough.

BIScom Subsection: 
Nigel Morris-Cotterill

You think we are being facetious but we aren't.

Stacey Shaw was the President and Chief Executive Officer of a credit union in a small American town, Beaver, Pennsylvania. It was called The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 712, Federal Credit Union.

She systematically embezzled funds to the extent that there was so little money left it had to close.

Her system was brutally simple: she opened six credit card accounts and used them for a wide range of personal expenditure such a holidays, eating out and clothes.

And a pig farm.

“She bought some land and spent a lot of money into outfitting that land for her use,” said the FBI's Samatha Bell. “She bought ATVs, four-wheelers, four sheds, pigs. At one point, she had a horse and some really big rabbits. A lot of money went into funding that effort.”

It was a lot of money: over three years, she charged - but did not repay - USD2.1m to the cards. They did not show up as delinquent because she repeatedly raised the credit limits to cover her balances.

Shaw’s conduct was discovered after the credit union was audited. What made her actions completely shocking, especially to the board members of the credit union who trusted her entirely, was the fact that Shaw had deep ties to the credit union because it was her grandparents who opened it in 1964. She was one of only three employees, and the board had no access to the databases. Shaw was a trusted insider.

- Samantha Bell, FBI, Pittsburgh.

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