A nationwide fraud scheme was uncovered by an employee of Pennsylvania-based Widget Financial Federal Credit Union.
The alleged fraudsters are accused of stealing personal information from thousands of consumers, opening fake accounts at several credit unions and banks across the country and filing fake federal income tax returns.
Reports Credit Union Times, “In addition to Widget Financial and PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, the conspirators, using false IDs and documents, opened accounts at the $169 million Treasury Department Federal Credit Union in Wash., D.C.; the $361 million Air Force Academy Credit Union in San Antonio, Texas; the $4.1 billion Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union in Harrisburg, Pa.; the $581 million Red Canoe Credit Union in Longview, Wash.; the $78 million Rutgers Federal Credit Union in New Brunswick, N.J.; the $3 billion Lake Michigan Federal Credit Union in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and the $83 million Winward Community Credit Union in Oahu, Hawaii, court documents show.”
A branch manager at Widget Financial Federal Credit Union noticed suspicious activity. After expressing her concerns, a team at the bank began looking into 10 accounts in December 2012.
The article goes on to say that FBI and IRS investigators realized that this was a fraud case so large, it was on an unprecedented scale.
The criminal investigation is ongoing and losses are expected to reach tens of millions of dollars.