September 14, 2015

Manager of IBEW Credit Union in Paducah Guilty of Embezzling More Than $600,000

PADUCAH, KY—Debra C. Pyfrom, the former manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 816 Federal Credit Union, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court, before Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell to a single charge of bank fraud, and she agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $600,520.16, announced U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.

“Bank fraud is a serious crime with a cost to all of us,” stated U.S. Attorney John Kuhn. “This defendant was entrusted with the hard-earned money and savings of IBEW credit union members, but she stole that money to spend on herself, her family and friends. This institution was insured, but the cost of the loss will be passed along to the rest of us. For that reason, my Office vigorously investigates and prosecutes fraud against financial institutions.”

Debra C. Pyfrom pleaded guilty to executing a scheme for an unknown period of time, up until she was arrested and terminated by her employer in July 2014. During that time, Pyfrom admitted to embezzling and stealing money from IBEW and its members for an approximate total loss exceeding $600,000. Pyfrom admitted to using the money for her personal benefit and for the benefit of her daughter, her boyfriend, friends, and family.

Pyfrom admitted to embezzling and stealing money through manipulation of the credit union accounts, false loan payments, misappropriation of cash, and from loans taken out in members names without their knowledge.

Pyfrom admitted to stealing money from IBEW credit union members’ accounts to cover her personal bills and those of her daughter, boyfriend and others, who had personal deposit accounts at the credit union. Pyfrom would cover these withdrawals with false, computer entry only deposits.

Further Pyfrom admitted to issuing loans to herself and to her daughter and posting false payments to conceal the fraud and make payments appear current on IBEW’s books.

Lastly, Pyfrom further admitted to taking out loans in the names of other IBEW account holders without their knowledge and using that loan money for her own benefit. Again, the balances on these loans were never repaid; rather the defendant would manipulate the entries in the IBEW books in order to falsely show that the loan payments were current.

If convicted of the charge at trial, Pyform could have been sentenced to 30 years in prison, a five year term of supervised release and fined a maximum of $1,000,000.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nute A. Bonner and is being investigated by the McCracken County Sherriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.