New Castle News

District Judges

May 30, 2013

Credit union embezzlers serve in same prison

NEW CASTLE — Two women who stole money from a former local credit union are now in the same federal prison.

Holly Cowan, 51, of Ellwood City, and Stacy L. Attisano, 44, of Portersville, are serving time in a West Virginia minimum security facility.

Cowan, former manager of the now-defunct Lawrence County School Employees Credit Union pleaded guilty to embezzlement and tax evasion. She was ordered to serve 15 months in prison, followed by three years of probation.

In addition, Cowan was ordered to pay CUMIS Insurance Society $222,888 to cover the loss of funds she took from the credit union. And she also must pay the Internal Revenue Service $62,753 in unpaid taxes related to her embezzlement.

Co-defendant Attisano, who pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement and four counts of tax evasion, drew a prison term of 30 months, along with three years of probation.

Attisano’s restitution totaled $222,500, which must be paid to the insurance company, while she also was ordered to pay $37,347 to the IRS.

Cowan and Attisano are now serving out their terms in Alderson, W.Va., home of a federal minimum security prison for woman.

The two were charged in 2012 by federal prosecutors in connection with missing money from the credit union. In 2010, federal regulators closed the Lawrence County School Employees Federal Credit Union and shifted all its clients and operations to First Choice Federal Credit Union.

At the time, the Lawrence County credit union had 1,085 members, according to federal documents. Cowan and Attisano were the organization’s only employees.

Because the credit union was federally insured, no clients of the organization lost money.

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