The office manager of a Falls Church, Va., credit union pleaded guilty on Monday in the U.S. district court in Alexandria to embezzling at least 412,000 from the credit union - an act that led to its liquidation.

The manager, Rebecca Lynn Knight, faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

Ms. Knight, 29, took the money from August 1990 to May of this year and falsified financial records to cover her trail, according to court documents.

Spending Spree

Ms. Knight spent the money on cruises, vacations, jewelry, clothes, groceries, and a new car.

AT&T Washington Federal Credit Union, a $1.8 million institution, was liquidated Aug. 9 by the National Credit Union Administration, the federal regulator.

The institution was liquidated because of an embezzlement that depleted its capital and "a lack of control in recording," said Robert Schafer, the agency's deputy regional director for Region 2.

Examiner Spotted Trouble

The problems were identified during a federal examination early in the year, which found the records to be "seriously in arrears as a result of changes in the records due to the embezzlement," Mr. Schafer said.

According to court documents, Ms. Knight, who was hired by the credit union in October 1989, said that from August 1990 and May 7 of this year she prepared credit union checks payable to her as well as to her friends and creditors.

The documents said she also sent wire transfers of credit union funds to her bank account and that of an acquaintance, wrote checks drawn on her credit union account and made sure they were paid by the credit union's funds, and embezzled cash from deposits made by customers.

Ms. Knight fled to the Bahamas but was arrested in Miami in June as she was returning to the United States.

She will be sentenced on Oct. 29.

U.S, Attorney Kenneth E. Melson said the case is still under investigation by the FBI.

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