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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Mother, daughter asked what they did with the almost $339k they stole from Pa. credit union

WILLIAMSPORT – A federal judge had the same question for the mother and daughter who admitted stealing $338,855 from a Northumberland County credit union: what did you do with the money?

U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann asked that Monday when he sentenced Mindy L. Plasters, 58, and again Tuesday for her daughter, Brittany Aikey, 35, both of New Columbia.

Each had pleaded guilty earlier this year to a charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

“I hate mysteries,” the judge told each of the women who formerly worked for the NU Community Credit Union in Milton. Plasters was a manager.

Both said some of the money was used to pay for drug rehabilitation for Plasters’ son and Aikey’s brother who died in 2017 from an overdose.

Plasters, who Brann said seemed to answer reluctantly, estimated she spent $40,000 gambling.

When the judge asked what happened to the rest of the money she responded: “I was very stressed. It was a difficult time in my life.”

Aikey was more forthright saying she used the money for vehicles and to remodel the house she shares with her husband and children.

The two admitted obtaining unauthorized loans and cash advances at the credit union between 2009 and early 2017, by:

* Applying for loans using the names of approximately 20 members of the credit union without their knowledge.

* Applying for loans using the identities of credit union members with their knowledge but giving them false information about the purpose and terms of the loans.

* Falsifying financial information on member applications to qualify for loans that otherwise would not have been approved.

* Obtaining the proceeds of loans for their own use not for the members whose names they used.

* Obtaining cash advances for personal use utilizing members’ MasterCard accounts serviced by the credit union without their knowledge.

* Aikey forging signatures on receipt cards indicating letters advising borrowers loans were in default had been sent.

Brann said in sentencing Plasters to a year and a day in prison that this type of behavior needs sanctioned. Plasters is to self-report Oct. 18.

When she gets out she will be on three years’ supervised release during which she must perform 20 hours of community service and undergo mental health and gambling addiction treatment.

She is prohibited from gambling in any manner and cannot enter any place where gambling is featured such as casinos.

Brann sentenced Aikey to time served although she has not been in prison.

That enabled him to place her supervised release for two years the first six months of which will be home confinement with electronic monitoring. She must perform 30 hours of community service.

The guideline sentence range for Aikey was 6 to 12 months but Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey W. MacArthur told the judge he was not sure an incremental period of incarceration would serve any purpose.

The amount of the loss attributed to Aikey is $186,815.

Aikey said she is willing to take full responsibility for her actions and is ready to begin a fresh chapter in her life.

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