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Prosecutors: $2M credit union embezzlement snagged by audit

March 26, 2022 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — A routine audit of a Winslow credit union triggered an investigation that has resulted in a Gilbert woman being sentenced to 26 months in prison for embezzling over $2.2 million from the financial institution, federal prosecutors said.

The sentence imposed Thursday on Susan Irene Romero, 64, on her previous guilty plea to one count of embezzlement funds includes an order that she pay restitution of $2,360,000.

According to a statement released Friday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Romero worked for the Winslow Santa Fe Credit Union for more than 30 years, mostly in leadership roles, including as manager, president and CEO.

Romero in her plea agreement admitted stealing money through unauthorized cash withdrawals, checks issued with forged signatures of other employees and transfers to accounts of relatives.

“”She covered her tracks through false entries in the financial statements, such as falsifying the amount of cash stored in the vault and offsetting the stolen money with fictitious assets.” the office said.