Criminal Justice News

Friday, August 31, 2012

Former Credit Union Branch Manager Sentenced

Dala Nelson Freitas to Serve Five Years’ Probation with Home Confinement

LYNCHBURG, VA—The former branch manager of Blue Ridge Federal Credit Union in Lynchburg was sentenced this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg to a false bookkeeping charge.

Dala Nelson Freitas, 57, of Lynchburg, Virginia, previously waived her right to be indicted and pled guilty to a one-count information charging her with making false entries in the books and records of Blue Ridge Federal Credit Union.

This morning, Freitas was sentenced to five years’ probation with home confinement and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $100,977.

“Ms. Freitas abused her position with the Blue Ridge Federal Credit Union and stole funds in order to benefit members of her family,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “Her greed motivated her to violate the trust placed in bank employees. This case demonstrates our commitment to investigating and prosecuting financial fraud where it occurs.”

According to evidence presented at a previous hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Jennie Waering, Freitas was the branch manager at Blue Ridge Federal Credit Union from 1997 until April 2003.

Freitas has admitted that between May 2002 through August 2002, she accepted 15 deposited checks totaling $100,977 from Clean Rite Sewer and Drain Cleaning. The 15 checks were never deposited into the credit union’s depository account. Instead, Freitas posted the checks to Clean Rite’s credit union account, from which payroll checks were subsequently written. Freitas knew and understood the checks had insufficient funds to cover them and this was the reason she never presented them for clearing. Clean Rite used the funds to meet its payroll obligations.

The owners of Clean Rite Sewer and Drain Cleaning were Freitas’ brother-in-law and nephew. At the time of the offense, Freitas was being paid by Clean Rite to handle the company’s bookkeeping.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jennie L.M. Waering is prosecuting the case for the United States.

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