4 former credit union employees barred in May include one sentenced to jail

Four former credit union employees – one of whom was sentenced in April after being charged then pleading guilty to numerous counts that included grand theft and forgery – are permanently barred from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institutions under consent orders issued in May by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

In one consent order, the NCUA said that Tina L. Torres, a former manager of Valley Agricultural Federal Credit Union in Santa Paula, Calif., was found to have been embezzling funds from the credit union, including by initiating unauthorized wire transfers and falsely reporting that the credit union held greater assets than it possessed. The credit union incurred significant losses.

The order states that Torres in June 2023 was charged with 17 felony counts of grand theft and eight felony counts of forgery by the district attorney in Ventura County and pleaded guilty this February to four counts of grand theft, two counts of forgery, and four counts of grand theft-embezzlement. She was sentenced on April 3.

This was the one order released Friday that provided no indication of how much money had been misappropriated or embezzled, but details in a Feb. 20 CUtoday.info article stated she had stolen more than $250,000. An April 3 release from the Ventura County district attorney’s office showed she was, among other things, sentenced to 365 days in county jail and ordered to repay $354,522.08 in restitution.

The other three NCUA prohibition orders in May state that:

  • Arneta Davis, a former member service representative of Dow Great Western Credit Union in Antioch, Calif., during her tenure committed numerous acts of fraud and embezzlement. Respondent, without the knowledge or authorization of the members affected, systematically stole tens of thousands of dollars from member accounts, defrauding the credit union of more than $40,000.
  • Eric Stash, while a branch manager with San Juan Credit Union in Blanding, Utah, was found by the credit union’s investigation to have stolen a total of $294,595.14 in cash from the branch bank vault between January 2021 and January 2024. The order states that Stash carried out the theft by taking cash that was delivered to the branch from a courier service and then altering internal credit union records to appear as if the cash was still in the vault.
  • Britnee Maree Starling, a former member service representative (also referred to as a teller) of AltaOne Federal Credit Union in Ridgecrest, Calif., in June 2019 was approved for a VISA credit card with a cash advance limit of $1,000. Starling later accessed AFCU’s internal systems and increased the cash advance limit on the card to $100,000 without written authorization, then over about four weeks requested and received cash advances and withdrawals totaling $96,950.00. the credit union suffered losses.

NCUA Prohibits Four Individuals From Participating in the Affairs of Any Federally Insured Depository Institution