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74 More Arrested In 9-11-Related Theft

NEW YORK-Another 74 members of Municipal CU were arrested for stealing more than $730,000 from the credit union's ATMs during the confusion following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, authorities said last week. An additional 44 members are also being sought in connection with the case, in which as many as 4,200 members took advantage of the credit union's generosity after the terrorist attacks that toppled the World Trade Center Towers and killed 3,000 people. Those arrested this week were charged with taking more than $5,000 from Municipal CU's ATMs after the credit union agreed to continue dispensing cash despite a post-attack network outage that prevented them from keeping track of withdrawals. Those arrested were all given the a chance to take out loans with the credit union to repay the funds, but they declined. This week's arrests come on top of 93 arrests last August on similar post-9-11 charges. Of those 93, 86 pleaded guilty or were convicted after trial.

LFCU Changes Course, Will Stick With Charter

BURBANK, Calif.-Credit union giant Lockheed FCU said it has withdrawn its application to convert to a state charter because of the apparent swing back to favor of the federal charter the past few years. David Styler, president of the $1.6-billion credit union, told The Credit Union Journal they had sought to convert to a state charter to take advantage of the growth potential offered by the state's liberal field of membership (FOM) rules but the rapid growth of the past two years has led them to believe a federal charter will provide them with adequate opportunities for growth.

The credit union, which serves more than 300 select groups, is growing at an annualized rate of 30% so far this year, said Styler.

Lockheed FCU is the fourth California-based federal credit union to withdraw its application to convert to state charter in the past two years.

FCUs Grab Low-Income FOMs

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Federal credit unions continue to reach for large field-of- membership (FOM) expansions through NCUA's low-income rules.

The federal regulator approved an underserved expansion for SCE FCU last month encompassing 300,000 residents surrounding its El Monte, Calif., offices, making almost one million low-income residents added by the $310-million credit union the past two years.

Also approved in may was a request by Advancial Federal Credit Union (formerly Atlantic FCU), in Dallas, to add 600,000 residents in underserved Louisiana communities to its FOM (see related story, page 33).

U.S. Central A Boost To ORC

McLEAN, Va.-Internet services provider Online Resources Corp. said last week it expects its new recapitalization to boost its net worth enough to allow it to retain its listing on the Nasdaq National Market.

The recapitalization, announced after implementation of a three-year contract with U.S. Central CU's Corporate Network eCom unit, should satisfy the Nasdaq's concerns for net tangible assets, according to Catherine Graham, the company's chief financial officer.

The recapitalization allowed the company to reduce debt and increase shareholder equity.

"We had an opportunity to buy back some bonds. We had said for a long time we wanted to reduce our debt," Graham told The Credit Union Journal.

Under the deal with U.S. Central, Online Resources will provide electronic bill paying services for natural-person credit unions.

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