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Cash-Deliverer Confesses To Theft

KISSIMMEE, Fla.-An armored truck guard was arrested and charged with staging a fake robbery of $250,000 cash as he was making a delivery to Central Florida Educators' FCU Monday.

The guard, identified as Luis Ramos, 44, hit himself in the head, then told police an unidentified assailant had ambushed him when he arrived at the credit union, and stole the cash.

Police later found the cash in Ramos' car, after the guard confessed to the robbery.

Pawtucket Helps Cancer Patients

PAWTUCKET, R.I.-Pawtucket Credit Union said it has pledged a $10,000 donation to The Tomorrow Fund, which helps finance and provide emotional support to children with cancer and their families.

The $725-million credit union recently made an initial $2,500 donation and has pledged to give $25 for each account opened before Aug. 18, up to 300 accounts.

The donation was made to help celebrate the opening of the credit union's new branch in nearby Cranston.

Wal-Mart To Enter Banking

SALT LAKE CITY-Move over the credit union threat. One of the worst fears of community bankers came closer to reality last week when retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. applied to state regulators here for a banking license as an industrial loan company.

Company officials said the initial function of the so-called back-door bank will be to process credit card, debit card and electronic check transactions from its stores, but an ILC license would also allow Wal-Mart to accept deposits and make loans.

Financial services competitors, particularly community banks, have worried for years that the nation's largest retailer could establish competition with them by setting up banking operations in its outlets, many of which already house bank or credit union branches.

"The chairman of Wal-Mart has indicated that the next major growth area for Wal-Mart was financial services," said Ronald Ence, vice president at the Independent Community Bankers of America. "He made it very clear that from a corporate standpoint, the company was interested in expanding into financial services, and he didn't indicate that its interest would be 'limited.' It sounds like a very aggressive corporate philosophy that is inconsistent with the philosophy that they're only interested in a very limited, back-office banking operation."

Wal-Mart's application with the Utah Department of Financial Institutions follows five years of attempts to get into banking. Previous plans to buy financial institutions in California, Oklahoma and to partner with a bank in Canada were unsuccessful.

Suspect Captured In Fraud Ring

KIEV, Ukraine-Ukraine police arrested a major suspect this week in one of the largest international rings trafficking in stolen credit card information that victimized hundreds of U.S. credit unions and banks and millions of American consumers.

The ring, which sold stolen credit card data on a website known as Carderplanet.com, offered thieves in the U.S. and overseas stolen credit card numbers and account information, until it was shut down by authorities last year.

The suspect, identified as Dmitro Ivanovich Golubov, is believed to be one of the creators of the Carderplanet.com network who operated under the online name "Script."

Carderplanet.com is believed to be one of the sites where a Florida trio, convicted of fraud, were able to buy stolen credit card numbers issued by dozens of credit unions, which they used to wrack up more than $200,000 in purchases on accounts at more than 20 credit unions.

Among the credit unions victimized by the Florida thieves were Navy FCU, Patelco CU, Affinity FCU, State Employees CU, and Weyerhaeuser Employees' CU, a prosecuting attorney in Florida told The Credit Union Journal.

The three thieves, Trevino Naki Gray and his cousin, Michelle Davis, and Sabrina Jackson, were all convicted of fraud and sentenced to prison. (c) 2005 The Credit Union Journal and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.cujournal.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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