Former credit union executive charged in embezzlement scheme

Herald staff

A credit union executive with an alleged $300-a-day cocaine habit was charged with first-degree theft Tuesday for embezzling nearly $102,000 and making about $130,000 in fraudulent loans, the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Vincent D. Hayes, 34, a loan and collection officer for Port Gardner Bay Credit Union, took the money during his employment between January 1997 and February 2000, deputy prosecutor Joan Cavagnaro said in charging papers.

The Everett man was being trained to eventually take over as president of the credit union and had a large number of access codes available to him, Cavagnaro said.

Credit union officials learned of the missing money a short time after Hayes left the company.

According to an audit of credit union dealings, Hayes used several methods to take the money, Cavagnaro said. He most frequently took money from an insurance account, she added.

According to the prosecutor, the credit union adds an insurance premium to the amount of some loans, and deposits that money into a separate account.

Hayes added insurance premiums to loan accounts that did not require the insurance, and then would launder that money through other credit union accounts, Cavagnaro said.

He also allegedly skimmed money from an account the credit union used to pay state sales tax. In some cases he made up for the missing money by overcharging other credit union members, Cavagnaro said.

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