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Former Preston loan officer charged with embezzlement

KINGWOOD, W.Va. — A former loan officer at federal credit union in Preston County has been charged with felony embezzlement.

According to Preston County Magistrate Court filings, Nicole Moore of Elk Garden, 37, allegedly stole $157,950 from 60 different member accounts at WEPCO Federal Credit Union from November 2017-September 2020 while working at the Kingwood branch.

Moore allegedly processed cash advances on 81 different loans and completed 198 transactions on member accounts.

According to a criminal complaint, Moore admitted to having changed members’ statements from paper statements to electronic and then she would turn off notifications on the electronic statements for those accounts so the members would not notice a change in their principal balance.

A credit union member notified WEPCO of discrepancies on a loan balance in September which prompted an investigation.

Kingwood police officials said Moore told them she had made the transactions but she was unaware of exactly how many loans she had manipulated. She claimed she was being blackmailed by her ex-boyfriend and she was depositing the money into his account.

WEPCO President Becky McKenzie said in a statement the investigation is ongoing.

“Based on a review of past activity, we have identified and contacted, or attempted to contact, all members impacted. The members that have been reached have met with credit union personnel, and their accounts have been resolved. Going forward, we do have measures in place to detect and stop these transactions.”

The case will now be scheduled for a preliminary hearing.

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