Oshkosh credit union bookkeeper fired for falsifying reports

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A lawsuit accuses an Oshkosh Central Credit Union bookkeeper of falsifying reports to hide her theft of money used to buy a boat, SUV and camper valued at $120,000.

Melisa Beyer, 35, told regulators she falsified coworkers signatures on cash-on-hand reports after a May 7 audit found significantly less money in the credit unions vault than the $2.2 million reported, according to a civil lawsuit the credit union filed against Beyer on June 12.

Beyers activities resulted in her termination on May 15, the suspension of Oshkosh Central Credit Union CEO Mark Patchak and an interim agreement for Community First Credit Union to manage the financial institutionss operations, court records show.

State and federal agencies are also investigating. No state or federal criminal charges have been filed against Beyer.

Oshkosh Central and Community First officials held a meeting with Oshkosh Central members on Tuesday to talk about the case and future options. Calls to OCCUs attorney, David Van Lieshout, and Community First Credit Union CEO Catherine Tierney were not immediately returned Friday.

Story: Credit union employees suspended after review

Beyer, whose salary was $28,000, was responsible for filing cash reports from 2010 through 2014. The lawsuit alleges she removed money from the vault to buy a $70,000 boat, a $20,000 sport utility vehicle and a $30,000 camper. The lawsuit seeks to stop Beyer from selling or transferring any of those items as well as cash damages, legal costs and fees.

The credit union has about $28.6 million in assets, but started to see annual profits decline and then turn into losses, according to IRS Form 990s on file with Guidestar.org. The tax forms show OCCU profits went from $74,816 in 2009 to a loss of $327,375 in 2012.

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions spokesman George Althoff said the state Office of Credit Unions helped stabilize OCCU and facilitated the arrangement with Community First Credit Union. But Althoff said the agency does not conduct criminal investigations.

Our job is to stabilize the institution. Wrongdoing is investigated by law enforcement agencies, Althoff said. Weve done our part and now its really in the hands of the board of directors at Oshkosh Central Credit Union.

Jeff Bollier: (920) 426-6688 or jbollier@thenorthwestern.com.