Ex-NJ CUL CEO Sentenced For Embezzling $300,000

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Thomas Shaughnessy, who pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $300,000 while CEO of the New Jersey Credit Union League, has been sentenced, but only after several employees of the league submitted statements to the court saying Shaughnessy's crimes went beyond stealing money and included intimidation and humiliation of league employees.

Although at least one league employee asked that Shaughnessy get jail time, the judge sentenced him to five years probation, 300 hours of community service, a $7,500 fine and required to make full restitution. Shaughnessy, 44, has already paid $50,000 in restitution from the sale of his house and plans to pay another $27,000 from the liquidation of his retirement fund. In addition, he has dropped the league from a suit he brought against it alleging wrongful termination.

After being terminated, the league operated with an interim CEO before hiring Bob Walls away from the Delaware league. Walls declined comment on the situation, saying it occurred long before he joined the NJCUL and that he has enjoyed working with a "wonderful group of people here. We have an excellent staff."

Shaughnessy joined the league in 2002 as controller before being later named CEO after Russell Clark left the league. Just two months into the CEO position, said League Chairman Rina Pantano, Shaughnessy began embezzling funds from the league. In her statement at sentencing, Pantano, who is president of NJ Gateway FCU, said Shaughnessy had abused a position of trust in that the league felt it "unnecessary to check his every step." Pantano said the league is "relieved this chapter in our organization's history can come to a close. Mr. Shaughnessy will never perpetrate his deceitful sham on another unsuspecting organization."

Sharon Dilling, the director of marketing and communications for the league, noted she had worked at the NJCUL for just three months at the time Shaughnessy was terminated, yet during that time she observed "mistreatment, serious intimidation and humiliation of my new friends and co-workers-especially those who questioned his odd or unusual behaviors."

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