Teller-Turned-Manager Jailed InFour-Decade Embezzlement

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COPPERTON, Utah - (06/16/05) -- In one of the longest-running creditunion thefts, a former teller and later branch manager of UtahCopper Employees CU was sentenced to almost four years in prisonand ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution to the credit unionfor a sophisticated loan-kiting scheme she operated over 40 years.From 1963, when she was hired as a teller, to 2003 when the schemewas uncovered after she worked her way up to branch manager, Cowardstole more than $2.6 million form the credit union by taking outdozens of loans under fictitious names, then depositing the fundsin accounts at a local bank in her own name or relatives' names. Aseach loan became due she would take out new loans to cover thepayments, along with a little extra, according to authorities.Coward, now 73, was indicted last September on three counts of bankfraud and pleaded guilty to a single count of obtaining a loanunder a false name as part of a plea deal.

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