GavelFrom the U.S. Attorney’s Office: The former manager of a local, federal credit union, who pled guilty in March to federal embezzlement charges, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg.Claudia Rawes, 61, of Forest, Va., previously waived her right to be indicted and pled guilty to a one-count Information charging her with theft and embezzlement from a federal credit union. Today in District Court, she was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison and five years of supervised release thereafter. In addition, Rawes was ordered to pay $1.97 million in restitution to Centra Health Credit Union.

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According to information presented at a previous hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Bubar, Rawes was hired by the Centra Health Credit Union [CHCU] in 1990 and began managing the Lynchburg General Hospital branch of CHCU around 2005. Rawes admitted that beginning in the early 1990s she began embezzling and stealing funds from CHCU in a variety of ways.

Mostly commonly, Rawes wrote checks from CHCU corporate accounts in order to make payments on her personal credit cards. Rawes also took a variety of steps to hide her theft. The theft created an increasingly large deficit in CHCU’s corporate account. To avoid further scrutiny, Rawes began altering the credit union’s corporate account statements. She would then provide the altered statements to examiners.

Examiners found a variety of inconsistencies, including statements in Rawes’ possession that had differing amounts of corporate account balances written in tape on top of what appeared to be the original statements.  Investigators found that there was a shortfall of over $1 million between what CHCU was carrying on its books for its corporate account versus what was actually in the bank where CHCU kept its corporate deposits.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service and the Virginia State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Bubar is prosecuting the case for the United States.