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City Council Denounces CU Over 'Partner' Snub

LOS ANGELES-The city of West Hollywood is exploring cutting its ties with F&A FCU because the credit union turned away a woman's lesbian partner and the partner's daughter because the domestic partnership did not meet the credit union's definition of immediate family member.

As a result of the snub of Noosha Szutzer, the city council has passed a resolution denouncing the credit union and is looking into finding another credit union to serve its employees. Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said in a letter to the credit union, "Especially in light of the recent and ongoing change to California state law in this field, a policy that excludes domestic partners from this important economic benefit is bad for your members and bad for the economy. This is an important civil rights issue for many, many county as well as city employees." The credit union explained in a letter to members that the definition of immediate family members in its FOM does not include domestic partners, who are considered household members, instead of immediate family.

Court Sets Aside Day To Deal With Bad Checks

FARMINGTON, Mo.-An excess of bad check cases has prompted the St. Francis County Circuit Court to set aside one day each month to deliberate solely over such cases. In the first full day of the new schedule, the docket included almost 300 cases and ran to 65 pages long. Officials said more than half the 3,500 criminal cases filed here last year involved bounced checks. In one day in November, 257 of the 442 cases on the docket involved bounced checks. Most defendants are charged with one or two bad checks, but some have as many as 20. Defendants found guilty of bouncing a check are responsible to pay off the checks, and the bad check fee, a fine, and court costs.

'Misdirected' Funds Investigated

WICHITA, Kan.-Local police and the FBI here are investigating some $2 million in funds that may have been "misdirected" by an independent stockbroker working out of Boeing Wichita Credit Union here.

According to authorities, 10 member accounts were reported to be missing funds, all of which belonged to a member who had either invested through or talked about investments with the broker. The credit union has informed members of the investigation, which it launched itself after being contacted by a member, and has reassured members that no funds will be lost. The broker is no longer with the credit union.

ID Theft Most Common Complaint

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Identity theft continued as the most common consumer crime last year with complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission soaring 23% to 204,000, the FTC said. Identity theft complaints comprised 42% of all consumer fraud complaints last year, with complaints over Internet auctions accounting for 10%, Internet services 7%, and shop-at-home and catalog offers 6%. Most of the identity theft complaints comprised of individuals hacking into Internet data bases, stealing mail or bank and credit union information to obtain Social Security numbers, bank account information and other confidential personal data. The information is then used to apply for credit cards, loans, pass bad checks, or set up cell phone accounts in someone else's name.

Ex-Manager Enters Guilty Plea

FAYETEVILLE, Ark.-Dean Mangum, the former manager of UARK CU, pleaded guilty in federal court last Friday to money laundering and income tax fraud in connection with the disappearance of more than $9 million from the $32 million credit union. Mangum, 46, pleaded guilty to eight counts of money laundering and one count of filing a false tax return and will be sentenced in March. Mangum was fired for poor performance last January, before the scheme was discovered. Authorities said he returned all but $2.5 million to the credit union.

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