Last updated: August 22. 2014 11:45PM - 2665 Views
By - elewis@civitasmedia.com

Wilkes-Barre City Employees Federal Credit Union inside Wilkes-Barre City Hall was open on Friday.
Wilkes-Barre City Employees Federal Credit Union inside Wilkes-Barre City Hall was open on Friday.
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WILKES-BARRE — The Wilkes-Barre City Employees Federal Credit Union was open Friday, a day after its former assistant manager Amanda Magda was named in two federal indictments alleging she witnessed forged signatures of credit union members on loan applications.

The attorney for the credit union, located on the first floor in Wilkes-Barre City Hall, said the institution has installed new policies set forth by the National Credit Union Administration ever since federal authorities served subpoenas for financial records in March.

Attorney Dominick P. Pannunzio said Friday the credit union has not received any more subpoenas since then.

“All I can say is, the credit union was the victim and its 2,300 members,” Pannunzio said.

Pannunzio reassured credit union members that their money was safe noting each member is insured to up to $250,000 in coverage by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which was established in 1970.

Magda, 30, was charged by a federal grand jury with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud when she allegedly signed her name as a witness to loan applications submitted by former city police officer Tino Ninotti and current police officer Jason Anthony, according to the indictments.

Ninotti, 35, allegedly signed another credit union member’s name on a loan application for $25,086 to purchase a 2011 Dodge Ram pickup truck on March 23, 2012. The truck was not purchased but Ninotti allegedly was given a vehicle identification number by Leo Glodzik III, 43, owner of LAG Transport and Towing, for the loan’s collateral, the indictment says.

Magda was charged in another indictment alleging Anthony forged the signature of a woman’s name on a loan document. Magda signed her name on the same document as a witness, according to the indictment.

Anthony, 34, was suspended Friday without pay from the police force, Mayor Thomas M. Leighton said in a news release.

According to the news release, Anthony waived his right to a Loudermill hearing that was in the process of being scheduled. Anthony was hired in February 2005 and earned a salary of $60,654. A Loudermill hearing provides the opportunity for a government employee to present their case prior to any disciplinary action.

Magda resigned

Pannunzio said Magda resigned and no longer works at the credit union. He was unaware when Magda resigned.

Credit union member Jeffrey Serafin, 35, was charged with using the name of another individual to obtain a $10,000 loan.

Magda is the niece to the late James Payne, who was chief executive officer and manager at the credit union.

Payne, 50, took his own life inside his Bear Creek Township home on March 10. Payne’s death came about a week after federal investigators served a subpoena at the credit union for financial records.

The credit union is not a city-run operation and pays rent for its City Hall office space. It has more than $40.4 million in assets and 2,285 members as of July 23, according to the latest report by the National Credit Union Administration.

According to its second quarter report ending June 30, the credit union had 542 unsecured loans totaling $2.2 million, 44 new vehicle loans $710,300, 289 used car loans $2.3 million, 10 first mortgages $333,772, and 102 other real estate $2.8 million, and 36 open lines of credit for $248,068.

Although the city has stressed the credit union is separate from city operations, most of the board of directors are former city employees or relatives of city employees.

Board Chairman George Soltis, a former city police officer, did not return a message for comment and Chief Executive Officer/Manager Deborah Peters was unavailable on Friday.

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