Credit Union Embezzler Of $480,000 Hoped For Home Detention As Punishment
For embezzling more than $480,000 during a decade-long scam, Orange County's Wendy Wall should serve a prison stint of 51 months, according to the U.S. Probation Department.
But defense attorney Brian N. Gurwitz and Wall--the mother of five who abused her job as manager of the Pepsi Cola Federal Credit Union in Los Alamitos--thought home detention should be the punishment because the crimes were an aberration from a law-abiding life that included Parent Teacher Association and Mormon Church participation as well as the raising of two Eagle Scouts.
Assistant United States Attorney Brett Sagel took a third stance. He noted the defendant spent the stolen money on her family and not on irresponsible, luxury spending sprees. But given the seriousness of the crimes he backed a 33-month term.
This month, U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna took a fourth position. He compromised between Sagel and Gurwitz. The thief received a 33-month sentence, however she'll get to serve the last 12 months in home detention.
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The Long Beach native will also pay restitution, serve supervised probation for four years after prison and must self-surrender to prison officials by noon on June 19.
According to government investigators, Wall wrote credit union checks to herself and created fake loan accounts to funnel the money to a personal account at a separate institution.
The tiny credit union collapsed after the defendant's embezzlement.
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