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Alleged Embezzler Vanishes

VAN NUYS, Calif.-The former business manager of Valley Presbyterian Hospital, charged last month with embezzlement of almost $750,000 from the hospital, has vanished after being bailed out of jail for $20,000.

Police said Svetlana Bashkinov, 34, of Pacific Palisades, took checks designated for refunds and deposited them in accounts she had a several area credit unions.

Bashnikov was arrested April 9 at the hospital, then was bailed out and has not been seen since then.

CRM Still Hot-Expensive-Topic

KING OF PRUSSIA, Penn.-Customer relationship management (CRM) is still the hot-and expensive-topic for small and mid-sized financial institutions, according to a study commissioned by SEDONA Corporation.

The survey consisted of 77 in-depth telephone interviews with small and mid-sized financial services companies, including both current users and non-users of CRM solutions.

Among the findings: 62% believe teller transactions are the primary means of collecting customer data; 93% organize their businesses around product and service lines as opposed to demographically-based customer segments; nearly 70% of those who already have CRM rely on profitability analysis to determine likelihood of future success.

The survey also found that the majority of small and mid-sized financial institutions who are not using CRM identify cost and the need for additional resources as the major barriers preventing them from implementing a CRM strategy.

Former CU Official Gets Time

SAITAMA, Japan-The Saitama District Court last week sentenced the former head of failed Saitama Shogin (credit union) to three years and two months in prison for causing financial damage to the firm, according to Kyodo news reports.

The Saitama-based credit union mostly served South Korean residents in Japan. Acccording to court documents, Gon conspired with former Senior Managing Director Hiroshi Takei, 72, and two others, to provide loans totaling 2.2 billion yen via several paper companies to a Tokyo-based housing development cooperative for which Gon's relative served as a senior member.

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