Aerospace Worker Credit Union hit by Fraud

United Aerospace Workers Local 1069 was hit by fraud by it’s the President. Anthony Forte was the former President of the labor union and was the Executive Vice President for Boeing Helicopters Credit Union.  Mr. Forte’s duel role is proof that such a combination of duties is a recipe for disaster.

The United Aerospace Workers Local 1069 represents approximately eighteen hundred workers at Boeings Ridley Park Assembly Plant. The plant makes United States Army Chinook Helicopters and is located in Delaware County in Pennsylvania just south of Philadelphia.

Mr. Forte used his position at the Boeing Helicopters Credit Union to receive kickbacks of five percent on twenty thousand dollar loans. The loans were made to borrowers who did not qualify. Mr. Forte received approximately one thousand dollars on every loan. Mr. Forte would instruct the loan processors at the credit union to approve the loans even though the processors were aware that the borrowers did not qualify for the loan they were being approved for.  In addition, documents that were to support the borrower creditworthiness were fraudulent and the credit union was aware that they were.

The documents contained names of family members that did not exist and inflated income and other financial information that was fraudulent.

Mr. Forte was not alone in his actions he recruited his brother David Forte and six others into his fraudulent scheme. Their main purpose was to recruit borrowers. The scheme transpired between November of 2001 and November of 2002 and according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation the conspirators received over one hundred thousand dollars in kickbacks that came from loans totaling over two million dollars.

Mr. Forte was sentenced to twenty eight months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of one million twenty five thousand dollars. Mr. Forte’s brother David who is ailing is sentenced to one day in prison and ordered to pay restitution of one hundred seventy eight thousand four hundred forty six dollars. Mr. Forte and his brother were originally charged in September of 2008 and plead guilty in November of 2009 for their part in the scheme to defraud the credit union. Six other defendants were also prosecuted for their part in the scheme.

Acting United States Attorney Laurie Magid at the time the charges were announced stated that the case was a microcosm of dishonesty that contributes to the credit meltdown in this country. A collapse that was made possible by lenders in both major political parties obsessing over access to mortgage and other loans. The credit standards were loosened to a point that spawned fraudulent underwriting practices. The defendants in this case victimized a credit union on a massive scale to further their own greed. They neither insured that the credit union made good loans but made it clear the only criteria for obtaining a loan was to be breathing. The small credit union will now be forced to increase fees on its members who belong for the most part to the Aerospace Workers Local 1069.

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