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After ex-CFO admits to embezzling $20M, Michigan credit union placed into conservatorship

NCUA takes over at Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union

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Just days after the former chief financial officer of a Michigan credit union walked into the local sheriff’s office and confessed to embezzling $20 million from his former employer, the credit union has been placed into conservatorship by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services.

Earlier this week, HousingWire (citing the Detroit Free Press) reported on the shocking confession of Michael LaJoice, who was described as a “community hero.”

LaJoice reportedly walked into the Oakland County Sheriff's Office and told the authorities that he stole about $20 million from Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union during a 12-year period when he worked as the credit union’s CFO.

Now, due to “unsafe and unsound practices” at the credit union, Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union has been placed into conservatorship and the National Credit Union Administration has been named as conservator.

According to the NCUA, deposits at Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union remain protected by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

According to the NCUA, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services placed Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union into conservatorship because of “unsafe and unsound practices” at the credit union.

The release from the NCUA made no mention of LaJoice’s alleged embezzlement.

The NCUA said that the Share Insurance Fund insures individual accounts up to $250,000, and a member’s interest in all joint accounts combined is insured up to $250,000.

The Share Insurance Fund also protects IRA and KEOGH retirement accounts up to $250,000. The Share Insurance Fund has the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States, the NCUA said.

The NCUA said that normal member services will continue while it is working to resolve issues affecting the credit union’s operations.

Members can continue to conduct normal financial transactions, deposit and access funds, make loan payments and use shares, the NCUA said.

According to the NCUA, Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union is a federally insured, state-chartered credit union with 9,413 members and assets of $68.8 million.

The credit union was initially chartered in 1957, and serves the residents and businesses of Oakland, Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston and Macomb counties in Michigan. 

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