Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Former Bank Manager Charged in Scheme That Closed Local Federal Credit Union

PHILADELPHIA—Ignacio Morales, a/k/a “Nacho,” 40, was charged today by information with conspiracy to defraud the government in a case that led to the closure of the Borinquen Federal Credit Union (BFCU), announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. According to the information, Morales used his position as the bank’s Manager to misuse and embezzle more than $2.3 million of BFCU funds through a variety of schemes, and, between 2006 and June 2011, Morales further enriched himself by cashing fraudulent U.S. tax refund checks through BFCU, keeping 20 percent of the check for himself.

BFCU was a federal credit union in Philadelphia. Between 2008 and 2009, Morales allegedly embezzled $600,000 from BFCU to purchase real estate, and, during the period of September through December 2009, he allegedly took $560,000 from BFCU to attempt to purchase 15 kilograms of cocaine. It is alleged that in September 2008, he failed to deposit $700,000 into an account of a BFCU member and instead used the money for his own purposes. It is further alleged that Morales intentionally altered bank records and other reports provided to the National Credit Union Association and their auditors in order to conceal his misuse of BFCU funds. In June 2011, the National Credit Union Association took over the operation of the BFCU but within two weeks closed the credit union and liquidated its assets.

In addition to the conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims, Morales is charged with misapplication and embezzlement, false reports on federal credit institution entries, engaging in monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity, filing false federal income tax returns, and attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.

If convicted of all charges, Morales faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, a mandatory minimum of five years’ supervised release, a fine of up to $12.55 million, and a special assessment of $800.

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arlene D. Fisk.

An indictment or an information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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