CDCU Figure Pleads Innocent To LootingDefunct D.Edward Wells FCU
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - (07/07/06) Carol Aranjo, the formerpresident and CEO of D. Edward Wells FCU, her husband, and son, allpleaded not guilty in federal court Friday to charges ofembezzlement and fraud in the failure of the once-prominentcommunity development credit union. Aranjo and husband, AlphonsoSmith, were arrested at the family home Friday morning, while theirson, Douglas Smith, was arrested at his home in nearby Chicopee atshort while later. The family members were charged in federal courtFriday afternoon on charges of conspiracy to commit embezzlement,embezzlement and filing false tax returns. The 65-year-old Aranjo,who rose to national prominence as spokesperson for communitydevelopment bank while she headed the National Federation of CDCUs,was charged with embezzling more than $1 million from the defunctCDCU. Her husband and son were charged with embezzling more than$700,000. The three were also charged earlier in a civil suit byNCUA with siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from thetroubled CDCU for the benefit of her family and cronies. NCUAclaims the failure of the once-prominent CDCU cost the National CUShare Insurance Fund more than $3 million in losses. The creditunion, founded in 1959 to serve the African-American population ofSpringfield, located an hour west of Boston, was sold by NCUA toWestern Massachusetts Telephone Workers CU, also inSpringfield.