Seward Woman Sentenced for Embezzlement
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 07, 2013|
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Crystal Lankford was sentenced today by United States District Judge John M. Gerrard to 45 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Lankford was also ordered to make restitution in the amount of $635,998.56. In September, Crystal Lankford pled guilty to embezzlement from a Federally Insured Credit Union.
Crystal Lankford was the sole employee, manager, and treasurer of the H.B.E. Credit Union in Seward, Nebraska. From at least April 12, 2006 to September 20, 2011, Lankford began to write checks, drawn on the operating account of HBE at Union Bank and Trust, to herself and her husband, Steve Lankford, without the approval or authorization of HBE Credit Union or its officers. The funds from the account represented the money, funds, and credits of HBE. Lankford then deposited the money fraudulently obtained from the checks into her own checking account. Crystal Lankford continued to take money from the credit union in this unauthorized manner until October 2011, when she quit the credit union. Records revealed that she knew that the HBE account at Union Bank had practically a zero balance at the time she quit. In all, she stole $635,998.56 from the credit union. The accounts and money of the HBE Credit Union were insured by the National Credit Union Administration.
The investigation of this matter was conducted by the Nebraska State Patrol and Federal Bureau of Investigation.