Embezzlement Scheme Brings Light PrisonSentence

Register now

PHILADELPHIA - (06/29/06) – A former branch manager atNor-Car FCU who pleaded guilty to an eight-year, $1.5 millionembezzlement last October, was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months inprison and ordered to pay restitution. Betty Jean Barachie, 38,confessed to authorities that she used the money to finance alavish lifestyle that included gambling trips to Las Vegas, a$60,000 swimming pool in her backyard, and expensive clothes. Butprosecutors told the judge in the case they are still investigatinganother missing $2 million from the credit union, which was forcedinto insolvency by the massive fraud and closed down by NCUA in2003. The assets and member accounts of the $40 million creditunion were then sold to nearby First Commonwealth FCU. At thesentencing, Judge Eduardo Robreno chasitised the U.S. Attorneysoffice for not bringing anyone else to account for the massivetheft of members’ funds .''This has been a three-yearinvestigation,'' said Robreno. ''You have a small fish here. Whereare the big fish? No one else has been charged with a parkingticket in this case.'' Assistant U.S. Attorney Bernadette McKeonsaid a grand jury investigation was under way and indictments areexpected soon. The U.S. Attorney recommended a light sentence forBarachie because she is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.Barachie’s attorney told the judge she was a compulsiveshopper. She bought dozens of handbags and shoes, as well as 58coats, 16 chain saws, a $25,000 John Deere tractor and more than3,000 books. Most of the items were never used and were piled inparts of her home with the price tags still attached.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.