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Iowa woman pleads guilty in federal court to embezzlement of nearly $1.5 million from a local credit union


This news story was published on November 1, 2020.
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SIOUX CITY – An Iowa woman was pleaded guilty in federal court to embezzlement of nearly $1.5 million from a local credit union.

Brenda Jensen, age 53, from Denison, Iowa, was convicted of credit union embezzlement. Jensen pled guilty in federal court in Sioux City to embezzling nearly $1.5 million over several years.

In a plea agreement, Jensen admitted that from at least May 2012 to March 2018, she embezzled money from Consumer Credit Union (CCU) in Denison, Iowa while working there as an employee. CCU serviced Crawford, Carrol, Shelby, Ida, Monona, Sac, and Harrison counties.

Jensen and at least one other employee embezzled a total of nearly $1.5 million. Jensen, the credit union’s head teller, was responsible for all cash and cash counts at CCU during the relevant timeframe. Jensen successfully concealed her crime from auditors and CCU for years. Jensen was able to conceal the crime in numerous ways, including overstating the change fund in the credit union’s general ledger balance, and participating with at least one other employee in issuing and depositing fraudulent checks to cover up their ongoing theft. Jensen further concealed the embezzlement by creating fictitious deposits into her personal accounts at CCU. After years of embezzling, the employees changed their methods of concealment and developed another concealment scheme. The new scheme caused CCU an additional $539,000 in losses. CCU’s total cash loss caused an insolvency resulting in a forced merger with SAC Federal Credit Union. CCU was insolvent with negative equity of approximately $481,206, and the value of its assets had decreased by over a million dollars. The million dollar decrease was a direct loss from fraudulent activity.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Jensen remains free on bond pending sentencing. Jensen faces a possible maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, and 5 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Timmons and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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