The CUJ Daily

Register now

Troubled Mass. CU Acquired

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.-NCUA said Western Massachusetts Telephone Workers CU has agreed to acquire the assets and member accounts of financially troubled D. Edward Wells FCU in a purchase and assumption assisted merger agreement. The $5-million D. Edward Wells FCU, a prominent community development credit union and the only black-owned financial institution in western Massachusetts, was taken over by NCUA in February amidst allegations of financial impropriety and insolvency.

NCUA said it made the decision to liquidate D. Edward Wells FCU after determining it is seriously insolvent and has no prospects for restoring viable operations. Until the NCUA takeover, the 43-year-old credit union was managed by Carol Aranjo, the former chairperson of the National Federation of CDCUs. Western Massachusetts Telephone Workers CU is a $260-million Springfield-based credit union serving more than 15,000 members.

CFCU Adds Low-Income Areas

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.-Representing a new growth strategy fast-growing Chartway FCU has received approval from NCUA to serve large underserved populations surrounding Houston and St. Petersburg, Fla.

The $1-billion credit union was approved to serve 600,000 residents around Houston and 300,000 residents around St. Petersburg. The new FOMs represent a strategy to expand into all of the major hubs served by Continental Airlines, one of the credit union's select groups, according to Nancy Porter, vice president of marketing for Chartway.

"We're creating a new brand identity and awareness riding that new expansion," Porter told The Credit Union Journal. Chartway in 1959 as Naval Air FCU but changed its name 10 years ago to reflect a diversification strategy.

Robber Doesn't Get Very Far

LEHI, Utah-A suspect in an armed robbery at Alpine CU didn't get too far in his getaway and was captured by police about seven minutes after fleeing the credit union.

Justin Welcker, 30, of Orem, was charged with aggravated armed robbery and was being held in the Utah County Jail after being arrested a block from the credit union. Welcker is believed to be the masked assailant who entered the credit union brandishing a handgun around 5:30 pm and ordered employees to the ground, fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash. One of the employees called police immediately after the robber left the scene.

Welcker is suspected in as many as six other armed robberies at area credit unions and banks in recent months, police said.

Thieves Attempt To use Backhoe

HAMPTON, Va.-One or more thieves stole a backhoe here and then used it in an unsuccessful attempt to break open a Langley FCU ATM. The thieves stole the heavy construction machine around 4:30 am and used it to knock over the ATM, then tried to pry the machine open to get at the cash, police said. But an alarm sounded and the suspects fled empty handed.

Employee Is Charged In Theft

LANCASTER, Pa.-A former employee of Lancaster Postal Employees CU was charged with stealing almost $54,000 from the accounts of three credit union members. Jessica Morrison, 24, of Lancaster, allegedly looted the three accounts between September 2001 and August 2002. The charges were filed by the U.S. Attorney's office in Philadelphia.

Alleged Dunkin' Druggie Is Nabbed

FALL RIVER, Mass.-A 22-year-old drifter arrested after a drug overdose at Dunkin' Donuts has been tied to as many as five area armed robberies over the past six weeks, including two at local credit unions. Justin Dupre was treated at a local hospital then taken to the police station where he was charged with five counts of armed robbery. Dupre allegedly robbed Santo Christo FCU, April 24, St. Michael's FCU, May 8, and three banks.

Mortgage Rates Still Sliding

McLEAN, Va.-Home mortgage rates fell this week for the fifth straight week last week, with rates reaching their lowest in five decades, according to Freddie Mac. The average for the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate loan dropped to 5.45% while tthe 15-year slipped to 4.84%.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
MORE FROM AMERICAN BANKER