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Fri Dec 6, 2019, 03:12 AM

Former President Of Little Falls Credit Union Sentenced To 96 Months In Prison For $2.5 Million

Former President Of Little Falls Credit Union Sentenced To 96 Months In Prison For $2.5 Million Fraud Scheme

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the sentencing of MARGURITE MARY COFELL, 62, to 96 months in prison for orchestrating a multimillion dollar credit union fraud scheme. COFELL, who pleaded guilty on April 3, 2019, to one count of credit union fraud, was sentenced on December 3, 2019, before Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota.

According to the defendantís guilty plea and documents filed in court, from at least June 2006 through January 2014, COFELL was the Manager, Chief Operating Officer and/or President of the St. Francis Campus Credit Union located in Little Falls, Minnesota. In that capacity, COFELL was responsible for the oversight of the daily operations of the credit union, and ensuring proper documentation of the credit union transactions. COFELL used her access and position to fraudulently divert credit union funds to herself and other members of the credit union, including family members, friends and businesses in the Little Falls and Flensburg area. COFELL did so by authorizing fictitious loans or increasing the balances on existing, legitimate loans without the knowledge or authorization of the borrowers, issuing checks from the credit union despite the absence of any corresponding deposits into the credit union, making fictitious electronic deposits into the accounts of credit union members that they did not contribute but later withdrew from the credit union, including an account held in her name, and accounts in the names of various family members and friends, taking cash from the tellersí cash drawers and the credit unionís vault, and recording fictitious cash payments on loans held by family members. In total, COFELL caused a loss amount of $2,513,360.77 to the St. Francis Campus Credit Union. As a result of COFELLís fraud, the St. Francis Campus Credit Union, which had served the Little Falls community for more than 50 years, was placed into liquidation due to insolvency.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI.

Assistant United States Attorney Michelle E. Jones prosecuted the case.


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