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Former Denison credit union employee pleads guilty to embezzlement

Former Denison credit union employee pleads guilty to embezzlement

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DBR District Court

From the U.S Attorney, Northern District of Iowa

Brenda Jensen, 53, of Denison, was convicted of credit union embezzlement.

Jensen pled guilty in federal court in Sioux City on Tuesday to embezzling nearly $1.5 million over several years.

A press release from the U.S. District Attorney, Northern District of Iowa, says that Jensen’s scheme caused Consumer Credit Union (CCU) to enter a forced merger with another credit union.

In a plea agreement, Jensen admitted that from at least May 2012 to March 2018, she embezzled money from CCU in Denison, while working there as an employee.

CCU served Crawford, Carrol, Shelby, Ida, Monona, Sac, and Harrison counties.

Jensen and at least one other employee embezzled a total of nearly $1.5 million.

Jensen, the credit union’s head teller, was responsible for all cash and cash counts at CCU during the relevant time frame. She successfully concealed her crime from auditors and CCU for years.

Jensen was able to conceal the crime in numerous ways, including overstating the change fund in the credit union’s general ledger balance, and participating with at least one other employee in issuing and depositing fraudulent checks to cover up their ongoing theft.

Jensen further concealed the embezzlement by creating fictitious deposits into her personal accounts at CCU.

After years of embezzling, the employees changed their methods of concealment and developed another concealment scheme. The new scheme caused CCU an additional $539,000 in losses.

CCU’s total cash loss caused an insolvency resulting in a forced merger with SAC Federal Credit Union. CCU was insolvent with negative equity of approximately $481,206, and the value of its assets had decreased by over a million dollars. The million dollar decrease was a direct loss from fraudulent activity.

SAC Federal Credit Union later changed its name to Cobalt Credit Union.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared.

Jensen remains free on bond pending sentencing. She faces a possible maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment, a $1 million fine, and five years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Timmons and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Note: Asked by the Denison Bulletin Review about the statement in the press release that refers to Jensen and at least one other employee, Anthony Morfitt, press information officer for the U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Iowa, said he could not comment beyond saying there is an ongoing investigation.

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