In the Workplace

Challenging NCUA Doesn’t Prevent CU Worker’s Conviction

Ordered To Pay $30K In Restitution; Sentenced To Two Years Home Confinement

Keith Griffin

July 16, 2020

Abundance of bank notes

After Jihan Michelle Davis was arrested on embezzlement charges, she took the legal tactic of claiming the National Credit Union Administration didn’t have the legal standing to review her bank accounts. Her ploy ultimately failed and she was convicted.

According to the Credit Union Times, Davis was terminated from the $17.7 million Lexington Avenue Federal Credit Union in Rochester in August 2016, after management determined a substantial amount of money was missing. A year later, the NCUA authorized Robert Robine, its trial attorney, to launch an investigation.

At the end of August 2017, Robine questioned Davis in a deposition during which she claimed no knowledge about a $19,200 deposit in her Bank of America account. She also testified that she handled no more than a couple of hundred dollars while working at the credit union branch under her supervision.

Before Davis was charged with embezzlement last year, she filed a lawsuit against the NCUA in November 2017, claiming her Bank of America accounts should not be disclosed because the independent federal agency did not comply with provisions of the Right to Financial Privacy Act. She also claimed in a sworn statement that the deposits in question originated from savings from a business while she lived in North Carolina, and that other funds were provided by relatives and other friends who are not associated with the NCUA investigation.

A month later, a federal judge denied Davis’ motion to quash the subpoena giving the NCUA access to her BOA accounts. Those records showed 14 cash deposits each exceeding $1,000 for a total of nearly $52,000 from July 2015 to August 2016 while she was employed by the credit union, according to court records.

Federal investigators determined Davis repeatedly embezzled LFCU funds by preparing and signing vault slips that stated a specific sum of cash was being withdrawn from the vault and deposited into either the cash recycler or Davis’ teller drawer. She removed cash from the vault using her password and the password of another employee. Instead of depositing the money in the cash recycler or teller drawers, Davis deposited the cash into her bank accounts, according to court documents. She used the funds to pay for a car and other personal expenses.

During a court hearing on June 26, U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Wolford in Rochester, N.Y., ordered Davis to pay $30,000 in restitution. Davis was also sentenced to two years’ of supervised probation. Based on federal sentencing guidelines, prosecutors asked Judge Wolford to impose a prison sentence of four months to 10 months.

In May 2019, the NCUA banned Davis from participating in the affairs of any insured financial institution. By October, Davis pleaded guilty to embezzlement.

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