The Case Of The Missing $20 Million

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Investigators are still searching for more than $20 million they believe owners of a New Jersey armored car company looted from the accounts of hundreds of CUs and banks that paid them to replenish their ATMs.

"We didn't just dream it up, we have spread sheets and ledgers that show it was there. We just don't know where it went," said Thomas Subranni, receiver for the estate of now-defunct Tri-State Armored Services, whose owners were sent to prison last year for the multi-million dollar scheme.

More Than 100 Institutions Hit

More than 100 institutions, including 60 credit unions, originally claimed losses of $50 million and almost $30 million of those funds have been recovered, still leaving more than $20 million unaccounted for, said Subranni. "There's twenty-something million-dollars just missing. We couldn't find the money," he said.

A federal bankruptcy court is expected to decide in the coming weeks whether the armored car company's insurer, Great American Insurance Co., is responsible for the $20 million shortfall. The insurer claimed during a two-month trial earlier this year it was not liable for the losses because company officials lied on documents submitted to it and that their policy covered Tri-State Armored Services for theft from outside, not inside, the company.

CUNA Mutual Pays $5M In Claims

CUNA Mutual Insurance, which paid out more than $5 million to credit union victims of the scheme, is hopeful of being reimbursed if the bankruptcy court rules for the receiver. The receiver has enlisted the help of federal authorities, such as the FBI, to scour bank accounts both in and outside the U.S., but has been unable to locate the missing $20 million. "I paid a private investigator $50,000 and he came up with nothing," Subranni said.

Tri-State provided ATM cash services to more than 3,000 financial institutions in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

CUs that filed claims with the U.S. Bankruptcy court included: Andrews FCU, Hughes Aircraft FCU, Municipal Employees CU of Baltimore, Paragon FCU, Philadelphia FCU, TRW Systems FCU, Treasury Department FCU, Western FCU. 66 FCU, ABCU FCU, Air Products FCU, CSC Employees FCU, Central Bergen FCU, Central VA FCU, Justice FCU, Clara Barton FCU, Cosmair FCU.

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