New Brighton woman pleads guilty in credit union embezzlement
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A New Brighton woman pleaded guilty today to charges related to her embezzlement of $400,000 from the West-Aircomm Federal Credit Union.
Shirley A. Howl, 56, will be sentenced at a later date on one count of making a false entry in financial institution records. That entry -- in which she overstated the amount of money in a cash dispensing machine by $130,000 -- was part of her lengthy and complicated cover-up of her removal of money from the credit union's coffers, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Hull.
Mr. Hull said that Ms. Howl was the lead teller for the credit union, in charge of three cash machines. She adjusted the log entries showing how much cash was in the machines, tore out portions of the paper tapes that recorded transactions, and told other employees to throw away backup tapes, he said.
She also shifted funds to cover her tracks before annual cash counts. But in late 2009, she was out of the office at the time of the cash count. Then employees found that the three cash machines were short a total of $400,000.
She will be ordered to pay that amount in restitution plus possible prison time.
First Published October 18, 2011 3:37 pm