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Colo. Adopts Incidental Powers

DENVER-The state Financial Services Board has approved a new rule allowing state-chartered credit unions to perform a variety of services in-house, rather than through separately created CUSOs, providing parity for the state's 76 state chartered credit unions with NCUA's Incidental Powers rule for federal charters.

"This eliminates a lot of questions from our industry and eliminates a lot of requests for clarification," David Paul, Commissioner of the Division of Financial Services, told The Credit Union Journal.

The new state rule will also allow the state regulator to approve activities that are not specifically listed in NCUA's rule.

The board also approved a rule that will allow state charters to sell all or parts of member loans without the prior approval of the state regulator, clarifying some authorities for state charters.

Both rules become effective March 2. Paul said he is still considering whether to allow state charters to opt for private deposit insurance.

Canada CUs Sue 'Yuletide Bandit'

WINNIPEG, Canada-The CU Guarantee Deposit Corp., the deposit insurance fund for credit unions, has filed suit against reknown bank robber Michael Syrnk seeking to recover more than $60,000 the so-called Yuletide Bandit stole from three credit unions.

Synryk, 33, known for his armed robberies during the Christmas season, many of them involving gunfights with police, was sentenced Christmas Eve to 23 years in jail for more than 20 armed robberies of credit unions, banks and armored cars between 1995 and 2002.

Syrnyk, who stole more than $300,000 during his bank robbing days, was arrested last May after a hostage-police standoff and an exchange of gunshots with Winnipeg police.

The suit seeks compensation of $60,000 for Astra Credit Union, $2,335 for Assinboine Credit Union, $10,243 for Crosstown Credit Union.

Jailer Imprisoned For CU Scheme

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.-A McLean County corrections officer was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 30 months probation after admitting his role in a bogus check scheme that forged more than $375,000 of checks on Bloomington Municipal CU.

Elvin Florez, 35, of Bloomington, pleaded guilty to a single count of forgery for depositing a fake $29,886 check in his credit union account, persuading prosecutors to dismiss charges that he forged two other checks worth more than $350,0000.

Florez, who was forced to resign from his job as county jailer, also agreed to testify against two-co-defendants, Ronald Williams, 31, and Veronica Powell, 22, both of Chicago. Powell is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 14 and an arrest warrant has been issued for Williams.

CU Account Drained To Pay Debt

SANTA MARIA, Calif.-A disabled woman has filed suit against Bank of America and Vandenburg FCU for seizing her Social Security benefits deposited with the CU to pay off a credit card debt with the bank.

Kathleen Chung, 40, claims the credit union froze her account on Dec. 26 based on a court order, then transferred the $3,406 to the sheriff's department, which paid the bank to comply with the court order.

Chung said she got behind in her credit card payments when she became unable to work after being injured at work and she and her two children have been living on her Social Security benefits and child support payments from her estranged husband.

Female Bandit Is No Lady

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla.-Police are searching for a woman who robbed Space Coast CU here last Thursday-the same woman who may have robbed the credit union the day before Thanksgiving.

Witnesses said the woman approached a teller at the credit union last week and pressed a handwritten note against the glass partition demanding money and implying she had a gun. The suspect then ran from the building and fled in a blue sedan parked across the street.

St. Paul Companies Returns To The Black

ST. PAUL, Minn.-St. Paul Companies, the parent of the Nuveen family of mutual funds and a provider of insurance to credit unions, said it reversed a year ago trend with fourth quarter profits of $244.2 million, or $1.02 a share, compared to a fourth quarter loss of $736 million, or $3.57 a share, in 2001, due to major underwriting losses.

As a result, the company reported net income of $217.8 million, or 92 cents a share, for 2002, compared to a loss of $1.1 billion, or $5.22 a share, for 2001. Still, revenues were down by 15% for the fourth quarter to $2 billion, and by less than 1% for the year to $8.9 billion.

Last year's results included proceeds of $431.4 million through the offering of 17.8 million shares in the company, and of $442 million from the sale of 8.9 million equity shares, a total of $874.2 million.

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