U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Virginia
(540) 857-2250
March 24, 2015

Former Manager of Federal Credit Union Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

LYNCHBURG, VA—The former manager of a local, federal credit union pled guilty today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg to embezzlement charges.

Claudia Rawes, 61, of Forest, Va., waived her right to be indicted and pled guilty today to one-count Information charging her with theft and embezzlement from a Federal Credit Union.

According to information presented at today’s guilty plea hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Bubar, Rawes was hired by the Centra Health Credit Union [CHCU] in 1990 and began managing the Lynchburg General Hospital branch of CHCU around 2005. Rawes admitted today that beginning in the early 1990s she began embezzling and stealing funds from CHCU in a variety of ways.

Mostly commonly, Rawes wrote checks from CHCU corporate accounts in order to make payments on her personal credit cards. Rawes also took a variety of steps to hide her theft. The theft created an increasingly large deficit in CHCU’s corporate account. To avoid further scrutiny, Rawes began altering the credit union’s corporate account statements. She would then provide the altered statements to examiners.

Examiners found a variety of inconsistencies, including statements in Rawes’ possession that had differing amounts of corporate account balances written in tape on top of what appeared to be the original statements. Investigators found that there was a shortfall of over $1 million between what CHCU was carrying on its books for its corporate account versus what was actually in the bank where CHCU kept its corporate deposits.

At sentencing, Rawes faces a maximum possible penalty of up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Bubar is prosecuting the case for the United States.

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