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NY credit union chief accused of embezzling money from fund, spending $3.55M on lottery tickets

May 8, 2018, 9:06 pm

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Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: NY credit union chief accused of embezzling money from fund, spending $3.55M on lottery ticketsRating:

The head of the city's oldest credit union embezzled money from the fund for years — splurging on millions worth of lottery tickets — by submitting bogus invoices for dental work and other expenses, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Kam Wong, 62, from Valley Stream, L.I., who heads the Municipal Credit Union, allegedly used the ill-gotten gains to purchase some $3.55 million in New York State lottery tickets, according to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.

He also "obtained numerous other payments from the Credit Union under suspicious or questionable circumstances" from at least 2013 through January 2018, Berman said in a press release announcing the arrest.

The embezzlement included lining his pockets with millions in cash payments instead of a long-term disability policy, prosecutors said. He also allegedly expensed millions for taxes to cover those payments.

On Tuesday, Wong was charged in Manhattan federal court with fraud, embezzlement, and aggravated identity theft.

According to officials, Wong — who ascended to an MCU leadership position after a financial scandal in the mid-1980s — got reimbursed for repairs made on a luxury vehicle the credit union leased to him, prosecutors said. The repair work was actually covered by insurance.

Wong also made cash withdrawals from a business credit card for supposedly "testing" the credit union's ATMs, the criminal complaint says. And he allegedly filed "substantial" educational, housing, and living expenses for two of his friends' relatives who were hired as credit union interns, authorities said.

Wong took "tens of thousands of dollars in annual cash advances" from the fund, court records show. He has been unable to explain where that money went, prosecutors said.

According to the complaint, Wong deposited some of the money from the various schemes into a credit union account that he tapped more than 2,500 times between July 2013 and January 2018.

All told, he withdrew $1.9 million from that account.

In February, he was placed on leave by the fund's board of directors based on a special committee overseeing an internal investigation based on the criminal probe.

His lawyer maintained Wong did nothing wrong.

"Kam Wong has added tremendous value to the credit union and under his stewardship, there have been record profits," said Jeffrey Lichtman. "Any actions he committed were done transparently and openly, with full consent of the credit union's board."

Before his arrest, Wong was hailed as an American success story.

He came to New York when he was 19 and lived with his parents and five siblings in a small apartment with one bathroom.

In 2006, he was named the head of the MCU after he spent years moving up the ranks. The fund has more than 425,000 members who are public employees are related to municipal staffers.

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Thanks to Original Bey for the tip.

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24 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by noise-gate.
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MsDiamond600's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
Connecticut
United States
Member #182195
June 6, 2017
7113 Posts
Offline
Posted: May 8, 2018, 9:10 pm - IP Logged

Wow!!!

"The two most powerful warriors are patience and time."

    itpmguru's avatar - 42a4d4d8f2a4312fb8e253dd8f6ef251
    No Man's Land
    United States
    Member #164133
    February 19, 2015
    6609 Posts
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    Posted: May 8, 2018, 9:26 pm - IP Logged

    Lock the BASTStopRD up and throw away the key!  If you cannot explain where you obtained large amounts of "fundage" from while you are CEO of ANY banking org, then you should not be running said banking institution.  I can tell ya one thing, the banks CAN, WILL and DO track everything done.

    In his case, he just got caught and should pay the price......PERIOD!  Sick and tired of crooked CEO's in ANY industry that exploit their "prestigious" position of power.

    MAYBE, he was just "borrowing" the funds in hopes of hitting the jackpot and then giving it back?
    I am STILL awaiting  the day that NCEL executives get locked up for their lotto scam BS

    Read up on the scam that is NCEL:   Not Live Drawings!


                                         


      Avatar
      Chasing $ Millions.
      White Shores- California
      United States
      Member #136473
      December 12, 2012
      6275 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: May 8, 2018, 9:52 pm - IP Logged

      Jeffrey Lichtman says "Any actions he committed were done transparently and openly, with full consent of the credit union's board." Really?

      So " submitting bogus invoices for dental work and other expenses, purchasing some $3.55 million in New York State lottery tickets, was done transparently and with the consent of the credit union's board? Who are these members that gave Wong the green light to raid the Union funds? Jeff had better name names, other than Wong's.

       * Voice of Reason *   

       

      People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

        music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
        Fresno, California
        United States
        Member #157851
        August 2, 2014
        3927 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: May 8, 2018, 11:15 pm - IP Logged

        The wheels of Justice grind slowly. Be prepared for a lengthy trial. 

         His Lawyer is doing what most defense lawyers do. Now it is up to the District Attorney to fight for the public in court. 

        No Pity!

         "We are all in this together!" 

          js1237's avatar - scenery water_mountains.jpg
          NEW YORK
          United States
          Member #3100
          December 23, 2003
          344 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: May 9, 2018, 2:40 am - IP Logged

          Lock the BASTStopRD up and throw away the key!  If you cannot explain where you obtained large amounts of "fundage" from while you are CEO of ANY banking org, then you should not be running said banking institution.  I can tell ya one thing, the banks CAN, WILL and DO track everything done.

          In his case, he just got caught and should pay the price......PERIOD!  Sick and tired of crooked CEO's in ANY industry that exploit their "prestigious" position of power.

          MAYBE, he was just "borrowing" the funds in hopes of hitting the jackpot and then giving it back?
          I am STILL awaiting  the day that NCEL executives get locked up for their lotto scam BS

          I agree, let him rot in jail for stealing the Municipal Credit Union Members hard earned funds. 

          "May The Numbers Be With Us All $$$$"....js1237....Sun Smiley

            Avatar
            Maryland
            United States
            Member #162429
            January 2, 2015
            2213 Posts
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            Posted: May 9, 2018, 6:21 am - IP Logged

            "Kam Wong has added tremendous value to the credit union and under his stewardship, there have been record profits,"

            Its a Credit Union !!  Not a bank, it is NOT suppose to make HUGE profits, it is suppose to SAVE the members money by having lower cost loans & accounts. 

            They should be forced to sell this FAKE CU to a real one in the area, and fire all the board members - FOOLS. Mad

              Mommysb's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg
              100
              NYC
              United States
              Member #147398
              October 1, 2013
              13675 Posts
              Online
              Posted: May 9, 2018, 6:55 am - IP Logged

              And of course that's my bank in Staten Island ! And of course I've been a member for decades . Throw away the key

                Mommysb's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg
                100
                NYC
                United States
                Member #147398
                October 1, 2013
                13675 Posts
                Online
                Posted: May 9, 2018, 6:56 am - IP Logged

                "Kam Wong has added tremendous value to the credit union and under his stewardship, there have been record profits,"

                Its a Credit Union !!  Not a bank, it is NOT suppose to make HUGE profits, it is suppose to SAVE the members money by having lower cost loans & accounts. 

                They should be forced to sell this FAKE CU to a real one in the area, and fire all the board members - FOOLS. Mad

                It's an official bank along with being a credit union for municipal workers .

                  GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
                  NY State
                  United States
                  Member #92605
                  June 10, 2010
                  4712 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: May 9, 2018, 8:49 am - IP Logged

                  It's an official bank along with being a credit union for municipal workers .

                  While I wont "rush to judgement" - I'm willing to let the Justice system take it's course (Wong has his rights, and he's currently  innocent until he's been proven guilty in a court of law) I don't care if it's a bank, or a Credit Union, a thief's a thief. If he's eventually found guilty, then he'll have to face the consequences of his actions. I just hope the consequences of his actions are commensurate with the crime he has allegedly committed. In other words - If he's found guilty, I hope he doesn't get sentenced to a short stay in prison.

                  What I find most interesting is that he spent millions on lottery tickets but apparently he didn't win a jackpot of any kind.  If that statement is correct, it kind of tells ya something, doesn't it????  G5

                  Players who've won large lottery jackpots have something in common. Many of them say "I've played the lottery for years, but I never won anything but small prizes."   That's normal or typical, but it's also why you should not get discouraged and stop playing.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you'll say "I've played the lottery for years...."

                    Avatar
                    Simpsonville
                    United States
                    Member #163184
                    January 22, 2015
                    2231 Posts
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                    Posted: May 9, 2018, 9:27 am - IP Logged

                    White collar criminal=Federal country club for his sentence if proven guilty.

                    Too bad he couldn't spend his possible sentence in Riker's Island!

                    Irony of the story, if he did spend millions on the lottery he sure has nothing to show for it!

                      Raven62's avatar - binary
                      25
                      New Jersey
                      United States
                      Member #17842
                      June 28, 2005
                      127469 Posts
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                      Posted: May 9, 2018, 9:37 am - IP Logged

                      If you're going to steal, steal big and hope you get away with it.

                      A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                      Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

                      Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

                        wander73's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

                        United States
                        Member #153769
                        March 24, 2014
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                        Posted: May 9, 2018, 10:18 am - IP Logged

                        This sounds similiar to when I worked armored car back in early 2000's.   Someone from another armored car company back in the 90's I think if I recalled bought a new lavished vehicle, and used the funds from the federal reserve to do it.  The person stole $39 million and fled to Mexico before being caught.

                         

                        It's not worth it  at all.  I have credit union and the one I have is awesome.  The employees are friendly.  The banks are bandits.

                        I love pecans and making sales with commissions.   

                        My amazon store is just like the lottery.

                          Mommysb's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg
                          100
                          NYC
                          United States
                          Member #147398
                          October 1, 2013
                          13675 Posts
                          Online
                          Posted: May 9, 2018, 12:21 pm - IP Logged

                          While I wont "rush to judgement" - I'm willing to let the Justice system take it's course (Wong has his rights, and he's currently  innocent until he's been proven guilty in a court of law) I don't care if it's a bank, or a Credit Union, a thief's a thief. If he's eventually found guilty, then he'll have to face the consequences of his actions. I just hope the consequences of his actions are commensurate with the crime he has allegedly committed. In other words - If he's found guilty, I hope he doesn't get sentenced to a short stay in prison.

                          What I find most interesting is that he spent millions on lottery tickets but apparently he didn't win a jackpot of any kind.  If that statement is correct, it kind of tells ya something, doesn't it????  G5

                          Oh i totally agree if he did crime go do the time ! Hope it's a forever sentence . But he will say his addiction to gambling put him in this position , he needs help etc etc . The cry bag way put

                            Avatar
                            Chasing $ Millions.
                            White Shores- California
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                            Member #136473
                            December 12, 2012
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                            Posted: May 9, 2018, 3:30 pm - IP Logged

                            G5- Wong’s attorney, in not too many words is saying that the Feds have it all wrong, they are on a hunting expedition.l think not.These are serious charges of corruption, that involves other people’s money & investments. I think they are going to stick. Wong is going down.

                             * Voice of Reason *   

                             

                            People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.