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Volume Soars At CO-OP Network

ONTARIO, Calif.-Fueled by an addition of 400 credit unions and 2,200 ATMs to the system, the CO-OP Network reported a 29% surge in transaction volume for 2003 to 826 million.

The network established a new monthly high in December with 77 million transactions. At year-end 2003, CO-OP claimed 1,500 credit union members, more than 18,000 ATMs, and 18.5 million cardholders.

Mich. CU Joins Billion-Dollar Club

LANSING, Mich.-Michigan State University FCU is the newest credit union to hit the $1 billion mark in assets, becoming the 89th credit union to join the exclusive club and only the second in Michigan (DFCU is the other).

Scam Brings $25M 'Redemption'

PITTSBURGH-A member of a black separatist movement advocating the so-called redemption theory, was convicted of bank fraud for trying to pass a phony $25-million check on tiny Citizen's East Community Development FCU.

Lutfee Abdul Waalee, 48, of Penn Hills, a follower of the redemption theory movement, which has attracted anti-government extremists across the country, passed checks he called "certified tenders" that purported to be issued by either the U.S. Treasury or Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Under the redemption theory, the U.S. Government has pledged the "lifetime worth" of U.S. citizens for collateral on foreign loans, which are redeemable by citizens.

ATMs For Police Stations

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.-Metro FCU is placing ATMs in what has to be the safest locations-area police stations. The CU recently placed ATMs in police stations in Arlington Heights, Hoffman Estates and Schaumberg, and is looking at expanding its fledgling in-station fleet. The machines are not money makers but are being placed for the convenience of members, officials said.

EFCU Has Person-to-Person Transfers

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-Ent FCU said it is now offering person-to-person money transfers as part of its electronic bill payment services.

Under the new service, members can transfer funds to anyone with an email address, without having to use a third-party service.

The credit union's e-bill payment service, provided by PSCU Financial Services and CheckFree Corp., has more than 9,500 enrolled users.

Each transaction, including p2p payments, costs 30 cents, up to a maximum of $4.50 a month.

Telcom CU Sponsors Coat Dive

NOVI, Mich.-Telcom CU said it has joined with local businesses and schools to sponsor a coat drive.

Area residents are being asked to drop off used coats at the credit union's offices through the end of January.

The coats will be donated to the Children's Orchard Services and to the Rotating Homeless Shelter at Holy Family Church of Novi.

Manager Charged With Embezzlement

EASTON, Pa.-The former president of now defunct Padua FCU was charged with embezzling $183,000 from the tiny credit union between 1994 and 2000.

Susan Case, 45, of Palmer Township, is also charged with falsifying financial reports submitted to the board as the credit union was falling deeper into insolvency.

The $5-million credit union, which served about 1,000 parishioners of local Catholic churches, was shuttered by NCUA is 2001 as delinquencies rose to $876,0000 and it fell more than $1.5 million into debt.

NCUA eventually merged the credit union into Allentown's First Commonwealth Federal Credit Union.

Suspect Sought In Robbery Spree

TUCSON, Ariz.-A man who held-up two downtown credit unions earlier this month is being sought by police for as many as 10 area robberies over the past two months.

In each robbery the suspect gave the teller a demand note, and sometimes implied he had a gun.

The suspect, who has been identified in surveillance videos, is believed to be responsible for last Monday's hold-ups at Tucson FCU and Pima FCU, as well as robberies at Meriwest CU Dec. 6 and at Pyramid CU on Nov. 21, and six area banks.

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