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Two San Fran CUs Get FHLB Grants

SAN FRANCISCO-Two area credit unions will get a piece of the $25 million in affordable housing grants awarded by the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco Friday. Santa Cruz Community FCU in Santa Cruz, Calif., will receive $427,000 to help build a 63-unit low-income rental project called Salinas Road Apartments. AEA FCU, in Yuma, Ariz., will receive $90,000 to help build six affordable housing units at Casa Del Sol apartments in Yuma. The FHLB grants will help build or renovate more than 50 affordable housing projects in California, Arizona and Nevada.

Wash. Project To Be Expanded

FEDERAL WAY, Wash.-The Washington CU Foundation, a subsidiary of the Washington CU League, will use a new $20,000 grant from the National CU Foundation to fund its Economic Power Project aimed at serving underserved and unbanked Latinos through the state. The project is designed to help credit unions developing long-term outreach programs in their respective communities.

As part of the effort to serve the state's growing Latino population the league's Foundation will launch an Hispanic Task Force comprised of credit union representatives working on the Latino outreach project.

Fishing Hat Bandit Suspected

NORTHFIELD, Minn.-A serial robber who favors credit unions struck again last week, with a hold-up at U.S. FCU, allegedly his state-record 23rd robbery over the past 18 months. Seventeen of those have been credit unions. Dubbed the Fishing Hat Bandit for his preferred choice of headgear, but he's also worn baseball caps and hooded sweatshirt. Earlier this month the bandit hit Minnesota Building Trades FCU in nearby Inver Heights for the second time. The bandit is also believed to have robbed: Minnesota's CU, Highgrove Community FCU (twice), Retail Employees CU, Teacher FCU, Twin City Co-Op FCU, St. Paul Retail CU, Minnesota Building Trades FCU and City-County FCU (twice), among others.

Fiserv To Sell Securities Unit

BROOKFIELD, Wis.-The normally acquisitive Fiserv Inc. said last week it has agreed to sell its securities clearing business, known as BHC Investments, Inc., to National Financial, a unit of mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments, for $365 million.

BHC Investments provides clearing services to about 270 financial institutions representing 3.9 million client accounts. The companies expect BHC correspondent clients to transition to National Financial by the end of 2005.

Robber Gets Eight-Year Sentence

WAMPSVILLE, N.Y.-A man arrested after he held-up GPO CU in Oneida last May was sentenced last week to up to eight years in jail. Robert Noto, Jr., 45, of Oneida, pleaded guilty to robbing both the credit union and Key Bank in Canastota, the week before.

Noto, arrested shortly after taking $5,000 from the credit union, told police he robbed to support his addiction to heroin.

Three CU Workers Are Indicted

NEW ORLEANS-Three employees of the local teachers credit union were among 11 school employees, including teachers and secretaries, indicted by a federal grand jury last week on charges of corruption in the New Orleans school system.

The three credit union workers were charged with stealing $150,000 from Orleans Public School FCU by withdrawing money from accounts of members who were dead or had moved.

The three were identified as: Sherry Wilkinson, 47, the credit union's assistant manager; Angela Williams, 38, accounting assistant; and Juawanne Scott, 32, a teller.

The indictment, a copy of which was obtained by The Credit Union Journal, charges the three also stole funds by writing checks and failing to debit their own accounts. Others indicted included insurance brokers accused of paying kickbacks to a school system administrator in return for contracts; two teachers and two middle school clerks charged with extortion; and two high school secretaries charged with stealing paychecks.

The 11 indictments brings to 24 the total number of Orleans Parish School System employees who have been charged with looting school funds.

The indictments came days after school officials said they face a multi-million dollar deficit, partly because of theft and corruption.

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