Prominent Figure Arrested In CDCUFailure
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - (07/07/06) Federal agents arrested formerD. Edward Wells president and CEO Carol Aranjo at her home Fridaymorning and charged her and her husband and son with looting thedefunct community development credit union. Aranjos husband,Alphonso Smith, was also arrested at the family home, while herson, Douglas Smith, was arrested at his home in nearby Chicopee.The family was scheduled to appear in federal court Fridayafternoon to face charges of fraud and conspiracy in the 2003failure of the once-prominent CDCU. Aranjo, who rose to nationalfame as spokesperson for community development banking while shechaired the National Federation of CDCUs, was charged earlier in acivil suit by NCUA with siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollarsfrom the troubled CDCU for the benefit of her family and cronies.The credit union ostensibly had $5 million in assets when it wastaken over by NCUA, but less than $3 million of it was found to bereal after NCUA examiners came in. The credit union, founded in1959 to serve the African-American population of Springfield,located in western Massachusetts, was sold by NCUA to WesternMassachusetts Telephone Workers CU, also in Springfield.