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Union Sends Santa To Visit CMG Chairman

COLUMBUS, Ind.-A not-so-jolly Santa look-alike visited CUNA Mutual Group Chairman Loretta Burd at her Centra CU office here last week to deliver a Christmas card urging Burd to get the CMG board to bend in its 10-month-old negotiations with the company's labor union. The faux Santa, a representative of the Office and Professional Employees International Union, was joined by members of the OPEIU's Local 1 in Indiana to deliver the Christmas greeting. Burd, CEO of Centra CU, refused to appear and her staff would not accept the card, according to the OPEIU.

Boston's CUs Pitch In To Help Homeless Kids

BOSTON-More than 300 homeless children received Christmas gifts during the annual Christmas in the City celebration here, courtesy of the area's credit unions. Area credit unions, along with Members Mortgage Co., a credit union lender, created online "adoption trees" that allowed credit unions and their members to 'adopt' and buy a Christmas gift for a homeless child.

Credit union volunteers also helped make a success of the annual party for 2,800 homeless kids and their parents living in shelters, when costumed elves delivered gifts on the children's wish lists.

Insider Pleads Guilty To Kiting

ORLANDO, Fla.-A former Rochester, N.Y., police officer and state insurance investigator pleaded guilty to a check-kiting scheme between his credit union and bank accounts.

William King, 57, who spent 25 years as a police officer, then a decade as an insurance fraud investigator, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud in federal court in Orlando, where he now lives. King said he wrote so many checks to concealing his escalating kiting scheme that between January 2002 and March 2004 he moved as much as $10.8 million between his accounts at Rochester & Monroe County Employees FCU and Canandaigua National Bank.

When bank officials found out about the scheme and stop honoring his checks, King left the credit union holding the bag for $66,000. King has paid restitution to the credit union.

Ex-Michigan Regulator Dies

LANSING, Mich.-Flags flying over the state capitol were lowered to half-staff last week to mark the passing of former State Rep. Frank Fitzgerald, who served as the state's chief banking and credit union regulator from 1999 to 2003. Fitzgerald, one of the architects of last year's credit union reform bill, died December 10 of a ruptured aorta, at 49 years old.

A Republican appointee, Fitzgerald was forced out as director of the state's Office of Financial and Insurance Services in April 2003 and succeeded by Linda Watters soon after Democrat Jennifer Granholm took office.

Jack Henry Acquires TWS

MONETT, Mo.-Jack Henry & Associates said it completed its most acquisition year with two more deals; to acquire TWS Systems Inc., a provider of image-based processing solutions for credit unions, and the SERsynergy division of SER Solutions, Inc., a provider of document management solutions for financial institutions.

TWS, based in Clearwater, Fla., is provider of IMAGECENTER, a turnkey image item processing platform designed specifically for credit unions. TWS also provides deposit processing solutions at the ATM. And SERsynergy, used by more than 1,600 financial institutions, automates document processing by capturing, archiving and retrieving images of all paper-based and electronic documents. Jack Henry has made eight acquisitions this year.

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