New Castle News


May 2, 2013

Woman charged with embezzling $100,000-plus from church credit union

NEW CASTLE — A Lawrence County woman has been indicted on a charge of embezzlement from a credit union.

The one-count indictment was returned Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, according to U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton.

Victoria Rozanski, 59, of 807 Jefferson Ave., Ellwood City, was named as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, from around January 2003 until around May 2009, Rozanski, who was the manager of the Holy Redeemer Parish Federal Credit Union in Ellwood City, embezzled in excess of $100,000 from the credit union.

Rozanski declined to comment on the indictment.

The credit union had 234 members and assets of nearly $630,000 when it was absorbed last year by the much larger Freedom United Federal Credit Union, which now has more than 7,500 members and nearly $53 million in assets, according to Zelda Smith, president of Freedom United.

“It was very small, very limited in service,” said Smith of the Holy Redeemer credit union, who could offer no details about the theft.

The pastor of the parish that established the credit union in 1935 did not immediately return a call for comment, but Smith and others familiar with the credit union said it was so tiny it didn’t have a teller window and operated out of a 10-foot-square room open only three hours a week.

It remains open as a branch of the larger credit union, which Smith said merged with it last May.

It was not immediately clear if that merger was the result of the alleged thefts, and federal prosecutors could not immediately detail how the money was allegedly stolen or why.

But Smith said none of the credit union’s members “lost a penny. It was totally insured. Their money, their accounts were not affected.”

The charge Rozanski faces is embezzling from a federally insured credit union. The National Credit Union Administration Board insured the deposits, much like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insures bank deposits.

The charge against Rozanski carries up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, though federal sentences are driven largely by advisory guidelines that reflect the actual amount stolen and the defendant’s criminal history. The Associated Press found no record of arrests or convictions for Rozanski in Pennsylvania.

The parish credit union was limited to parish members or their family members, Smith said. The new merged credit union draws members from three western Pennsylvania school districts, several large businesses and a total of 150 sponsors. Freedom United was established 75 years ago.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee J. Karl is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the indictment.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • 08.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Community Easter morning service

    There’s a reason why most holidays last only 24 hours. It’s because when you’re finished celebrating, there’s still work to be done. The Rev. David Young reminded everyone who attended Sunday’s community Easter morning service at Lawrence Village Plaza of that.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • money.jpg Retirements, attrition to save district money

    A slew of retirements in the New Castle School District may result in savings in the 2014-15  budget. The school district plans to introduce its spending plan next month.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fletch1.jpg No Retreat: Teacher’s golden retriever proves to be a hero, fighter

    It was last fall, and my favorite time of the year to be in the woods hunting. On this day, I could hunt small game and turkey, though my primary purpose was a hike in the woods with my dog, Maggie. This year was special. I also had my five-month-old golden retriever, Remi.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Firefighters respond to gas leak

    New Castle firefighters responded to a gas leak Friday at the former Lincoln-Garfield school on Long Avenue. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Petrone said Columbia Gas received a call from someone in the 800 block of South Mercer Street about the smell of gas Friday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • ATV.jpg City residents register complaints about ATVs

    Some North Hill residents expressed annoyance and frustration over youngsters recklessly operating all-terrain vehicles through their neighborhoods.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Barletto.jpg Emotional Closure: Woman sentenced in Jerry McCarthy’s death

    The driver of the car that killed a Shenango Township policeman is heading to prison. Kylee Gwen Barletto, 26, apologized Wednesday to the family of William J. “Jerry” McCarthy and to her family after pleading guilty to eight of 16 charges against her.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Fire marshal probes cause of blaze

    A city police fire marshal said he hasn’t ruled yet on a blaze that ravaged two Taylor Street houses. Chris Fabian, who was at the fire scene for the duration Monday morning, said the blaze that displaced three families started in the back of a yellow, two-story duplex at 602 Taylor St.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action on quakes

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Crowds of anglers still turned out for opening day of trout season

    Saturday morning marked the beginning of the Pennsylvania trout season. Locally, many anglers took to the county’s rivers and streams, eager to get started. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocked lakes and streams with 3.2 million adult brook, brown and rainbow trout.

    April 14, 2014 9 Photos

  • S_Levar1.jpg Levar Ware’s Story, Part 2: After getting his life back on track, senior ready to tackle college next

    Second of two parts: Even when Levar Ware was at his lowest, people recognized the quality of his character.  Some, like Andy Tommelleo, former director of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, went the extra mile because of it.

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

House Ads

When will you start mowing your grass?

Been there, done that
Probably this week
Not until May
You mean, when will I HIRE someone to mow my grass?
     View Results