A credit union executive from Valley Stream has been accused of embezzling $6 million from the financial institution and spending about half of that money on lottery tickets, federal prosecutors said.
Kam Wong, the president and CEO of Municipal Credit Union (MCU), was charged Tuesday at Manhattan federal court with bank fraud, wire fraud, embezzlement from a federally insured credit union, and identity theft.
“The CEO and president of New York’s oldest credit union abused his position of trust … to enrich himself,” said Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Wong allegedly stole money from the credit union’s earnings that were intended to reward the credit union’s members, not line Wong’s pockets.”
Prosecutors said the 62-year-old banker submitted hundreds of thousands of “sham invoices” for dental work never performed on him or paid by him and used the reimbursements and other questionable payments to embezzle the funds since 2013.
He deposited the money into an account, withdrew funds and spent at least $3.5 million on lottery tickets, according to investigators. When he learned of the investigation, he allegedly misled federal agents to justify the payments, authorities said. MCU’s board placed him on leave in February following an internal investigation.
The nonprofit MCU has 425,000 members, including municipal, state, and federal workers, with its earnings intended to be directed back to its members in the form of more favorable rates and lower fees, authorities noted.
Wong faces up to 30 years in prison, if convicted of the most serious charges before Judge James Cott.