Feds Seek 11-Year Prison Term For Credit Union Officer

CLARKSTON (WWJ/AP) – Prosecutors are recommending an 11-year prison sentence for a man who embezzled nearly $19 million from a credit union in Oakland County.

Michael LaJoice was expected to appear in federal court Tuesday, but the hearing was postponed until March 23.

LaJoice was chief financial officer at Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union. He stole from the credit union over a dozen years, buying a luxurious home, fancy cars and commercial properties, and traveling by private jet. A Cadillac Escalade cost $95,000.

Officials from the credit union said serious accounting irregularities were discovered during a routine visit from the Department of Insurance and Financial Services. After LaJoice was confronted about the errors, officials say he failed to show up for work the following day and was immediately terminated as CFO, a position that he held since June 2015. He then turned himself in to police.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Neal says it “reflects a level of greed that is difficult to fathom.” The credit union had to be taken over by Michigan State University Credit Union.

LaJoice is asking for a five-year prison sentence. Defense lawyer Michael Manley says LaJoice has been “humbled and destroyed.”

© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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