Purported FEMA Beneficiary Must RepayCU

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - (10/28/05) -- A VyStar CU member and her roommatewho spent almost half the $66,000 the credit union mistakenlydeposited in her checking account must repay the credit union the$37,367 they spent. Monica Stegall, 25, who told police she thoughtthe funds were wired into her account by the Federal EmergencyManagement Administration, where she had applied for hurricaneassistance, was sentenced to 10 years probation and ordered to makerestitution on the misspent funds. The credit union erroneouslymisdirected a wire transfer into Stegall's account on Sept. 22,2004, sending her balance from $6.30 to $66,265 and promptingStegall and her live-in boyfriend Dontrell Wright to embark on ashopping spree. Stegall originally told the credit union the fundshad been wired to her account from FEMA and that she sent most ofthe funds to charity. But later it was revealed that most of themoney was spent on jewelry, furniture, and other personal uses asthe two continued to withdraw cash from the creditunion.

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