Former credit union employee is sentenced for embezzlement

Former credit union employee is sentenced for embezzlement

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The first of three credit union employees who admitted to defrauding the institution was sentenced in federal court Monday.

Nicole Cheung, 34, will serve 20 days for the crime and pay restitution. Cheung was a loan officer for the OTS Employees Federal Credit Union which services city bus employees. She admitted stealing nearly $17,000 from her former employer in a credit card scam. In court, she apologized to her family, the credit union, and the court.

Her lawyer said she was a good mother and good person who made bad decisions.

"From my perspective it seems like a reasonable sentence particularly because when the FBI came knocking she admitted responsibility and she took full responsibility for her actions," said FBI Special Agent Tom Simon.

As Cheung left court with her family, her husband made vulgar gestures and comments to the Hawaii News Now camera. We're told that he is an employee of the bus.

Dona Takushi, 54, the former manager and CEO of the credit union, also admitted to stealing $120,000.

Jenny Nishida, 41, a former teller, stole the most, $358,685.

Takushi and Nishida will be sentenced next month.

All three defendants are accused of doctoring credit union records to pay down their personal VISA card balances when they had not paid off their accounts. The FBI said it conducted a seven-month investigation after a routine audit by federal regulators discovered irregularities at the OTS Employees Federal Credit Union in December 2012.

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