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Dealer Leaves CUs Holding The Bag

HONOLULU-A local car dealer being investigated for fraud by state authorities filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this month, leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid debts with area credit unions.

Among those left holding the bag by Jason Kim and his dealership, Dae Han Autos, was Hickham FCU, listed on the federal bankruptcy petition as Kim's biggest creditor, with claims of $534,000, including car loans, a personal loan and credit card debt.

Authorities are investigating claims that Kim accepted down payments and trade-ins for cars but failed to deliver the vehicles.

The bankruptcy petition lists 101 creditors with claims exceeding $1 million. Officials at Hickham FCU did not return phone calls seeking comment.

TRM Acquires eFunds' ATMs

PORTLAND, Ore.-TRM Corp. said it has completed the acquisition of eFunds Corp.'s 17,200 ATMs, giving it the largest international network of ATMs.

The $150-million deal gives TRM 22,000 ATMs in the U.S., Britain and Canada. More than 7,000 of those ATMs are connected to the credit union-owned CO-OP Network.

The $150-million acquisition price was paid for with cash, funded through a syndicated bank loan. TRM also owns and operates a fleet of more than 19,000 copiers.

PINCheck Helps Stem Check Fraud

DUBUQUE, Iowa-DuTrac Community CU has become one of the first financial institutions in the country to pilot a new tool aimed at curbing check fraud.

PINCheck, provided by Des Moines-baded PINCheck LC, helps thwart identity theft through checks by requiring a personal identification number when someone presents a check.

PINCheck will use a national database of PINs which will be linked to individuals' checking accounts.

Grandma Nabs Runaway Suspect

LYNNWOOD, Wash.-A 60-year-old grandmother of 10 helped capture a suspected identity thief when she held the man long enough for police to catch up to him.

Janice Lewis was entering a local department store when she saw the suspect, handcuffed and in his underwear, running towards her, so she grabbed the man's jacket and held on till he was tackled by a police officer.

The suspect had been collared in Verity CU trying to use a member's account that wasn't his, but he ran off after he was handcuffed, leaving is baggy pants behind as they slid down his ankles.

MSU FCU Joins Aimbridge Indirect

EAST LANSING, Mich.-Michigan State University FCU said it has signed with Aimbridge Direct Lending for its indirect loan program.

It will be the first indirect lending program for the world's largest university-based credit union, with $1.2 billion in assets.

The credit union expects the Aimbridge program will help it increase auto lending while expanding its cross-selling opportunities.

Virginia CU Raises State FOM Bar

RICHMOND, Va.-State regulators said they have approved a conversion of Tidewater Telephone Employees CU to what amounts to the broadest community field of membership ever granted a state-chartered credit union in Virginia.

The ruling by the Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions will allow the $35-million Virginia Beach-based CU to serve more than 1.1 million residents in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Newport News, and Hampton. It is believed to be the first state-chartered FOM in Virginia to top the one million mark.

Brinks Worker Stole From ATMs

COLUMBUS, Ohio-A former Brinks Armored Car Services messenger, entrusted to stock Columbus-area ATMs with cash, faces up to 10 years in prison after being convicted of stealing $200,000 from six credit unions and banks he was supposed to be servicing.

Brinks noticed the funds missing after Ryan Gullet, 33, of Hershey, Pa., abruptly quit his job on Sept. 30, 2002, finding that cash was missing from 33 of the ATMs on Gullet's route.

Among the missing funds were $12,000 that disappeared form a Kemba CU machine on Nov. 11, 2001, authorities told The Credit Union Journal.

Corporate Central CU Announces Dividend

HALES CORNERS, Wis.-Corporate Central CU said it is paying a $410,000 patronage refund to its 350 member credit unions.

It is the largest refund in the 16 years the corporate has been making such payments, and is being done to "show gratitude for members' commitment to ownership of Corporate Central," CCCU said.

The corporate has refunded more than $3.5 million over the past 16 years.

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