Former Chief Operating Officer Of A Long Island Federal Credit Union Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
Former Long Island Federal Credit Union COO Suzanne Silva pleaded guilty to embezzling $465,172 during her employment. Silva was the former COO of Winthrop University Hospital Employees Federal Credit Union (Winthrop University HEFCU)
The 35-year-old Silva pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Denis R. Hurley. As a result, Silva faces up to 30 years in prison. She is also responsible for paying restitution of $465,172 and a fine of up to $1 million.
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant FBI Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office announced the guilty plea:
Silva has admitted that she abused her authority as COO by stealing funds from the Credit Union for personal travel and shopping sprees. Today’s guilty plea sends the message that those who engage in such criminal conduct will be caught and prosecuted.
Between March 2011 and June 2018, Silva used her authority to transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars from credit union operating accounts to accounts in her name and the names of family members. She also used the funds to take Caribbean cruises and travel to Cancun. She also used the funds to pay thousands of dollars a month for purchases from the Amazon and Etsy websites. Winthrop University HEFCU terminated Silva’s employment in June 2018.
Hospital spokesman J. Edmund Keating said in a statement Wednesday:
Forensic accountants who were brought in to investigate the alleged misappropriation of funds concluded that no employee funds were affected and that the monies that were taken came exclusively from credit union assets. The credit union is insured and bonded. Therefore, the embezzlement did not adversely impact the credit union’s operations nor any member’s assets.