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Va. Sets New FOM Boundaries

RICHMOND, Va.-The state's Bureau of Financial Institutions said it approved a request from Newport News Shipbuilding Employees CU to serve almost 500,000 residents in the area known as Hampton Roads.

The field of membership grant is the largest approved yet under the state's new underserved FOM rules, and the biggest community approved for a state-chartered CU here.

The expanded FOM will include areas designated as distressed communities in the cities of Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Suffolk.

Farmers Union Plans New CU

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.-The Missouri Farmers Union has submitted an application to the state Department of Economic Development Division to charter a new credit union.

Plans call for the credit union to offer agricultural loans, checking and savings accounts, and credit cards. The group hopes to begin operations some time next year.

Tornado Relief Offered By LCU

LEBANON, Penn.-Following tornadoes that struck this area, Lebanon FCU is offering help to members affected by the storms by allowing them to make interest-only payments on their mortgages and to skip their monthly payments on all other loans for the next month.

The credit union is also offering a 0% unsecured loan up to $2,500 with a repayment schedule of 12 months for victims of the storm.

In addition LFCU has established a Disaster Relief Fund and will match all proceeds raised up to $10,000.

Counterfeit $50s Fool GFTFCU

GREAT FALLS, Mont.-Counterfeit $50 bills making their way around the city are so good they fooled Great Falls Teachers FCU, which inadvertently passed a couple on to a member.

The key to the con is the bills are actually real money-$5 bills-that have been bleached then reprinted by computer scanner and printer with the image of a $50 on the same bill.

That means the watermark on the phony bills can't be detected by a counterfeit pen commonly used by businesses.

Look out Pleads Guilty In Robbery

TYLER, Texas-The look out in a 2001 armed hold-up at Beacon FCU pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting a bank robbery but the three men who robbed the credit union were never charged.

One of the suspects is dead and the two others are still at large. Cornelius Walker, 28, of Dallas, will serve between 12 and 15 years under a plea agreement.

During the heist, Walker stood watch at the door. A long-time member of the credit union, Keith Moore, 39, also was convicted of aiding and abetting for helping plan the robbery, though he did not participate in the hold-up.

Robber Gets Long Jail Term

ST. JOSEPH, Mich.-A self-described crack cocaine addict was sentenced to up to 75 years in prison for robbing Greater Niles Community FCU, Niles, on Jan. 29 of $10,000.

Minutes before his sentencing, Ronnie Boone sobbed through an impassioned plea in which he admitted to being in and out of seven mental facilities over several years during which he said he attempted suicide six times.

Boone's accomplice and drug supplier, Odie Miller, was convicted of bank robbery.

CU Member Loses Life Savings

FAIRFIELD, Calif.-A member of Travis CU saw her dream to buy her own business disappear when a gun-wielding assailant knocked her down and grabbed $2,700 of her savings after she withdrew the cash from her husband's retirement account. Linda Reid, 50, was robbed just blocks from the CU after withdrawing $4,500 in cash to purchase a hotdog stand she had been saving for for years, police said.

She was going to get a cashier's check but couldn't remember the spelling of the man's name who was selling it to her.

Though Reid exchanged blows with her assailant-even taking a bite out of his leg--he grabbed the whole pile of cash. She managed to retrieve about $1,800. Police are reviewing surveillance videos taken at the credit union to determine whether the assailant can been seen watching Reid make the withdrawal.

Travis CU has opened an account in Reid's name to help her recoup some of her lost savings and has already collected $800.

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