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Retired NYC Cop Pleads Guilty in Municipal Credit Union Fraud Case



Municipal Credit Union, a non-profit financial institution. Photo Credit: LinkedIn

By Andy B. Mayfair

It’s a story that has it all: embezzlement, illicit drugs, the public trust, conspiracy and more.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York

Last June, Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Kam Wong, the former chief executive officer of Municipal Credit Union, a non-profit financial institution, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 66 months in prison for defrauding and embezzling millions of dollars from MCU during his time as CEO.

Wong previously had pleaded guilty to embezzlement from a federally insured credit union before U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl, who imposed today’s sentence.

Said Berman at the time, “For years, Kam Wong, the then-CEO of New York’s oldest credit union, betrayed the credit union’s hard-working members from the perch of his executive suite by siphoning off millions of dollars in company money for his personal benefit. Wong then tried to cover up what he had done by making false statements to federal investigators and creating false and misleading documents. He will now serve a substantial prison sentence for his crime. I commend the Special Agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and our law enforcement partners, for their tireless efforts to protect the credit union’s members and expose misconduct in this ongoing investigation.”

Wong, from 2007 until shortly after his arrest in May 2018, was the CEO and president of MCU, a non-profit financial institution headquartered in New York, New York, which is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration, according to a release from the Southern District. MCU is the oldest credit union in New York State and one of the oldest and largest in the country, providing banking services to more than 588,000 members, including municipal, state, and federal workers in New York City. MCU’s earnings are intended to be directed back to its members in the form of more favorable rates and fewer and lower fees for products and services.

But wrongdoing sometimes becomes contagious. More recently, federal authorities have alleged that Wong received drugs by supplying Yankee tickets to an MCU supervisory committee member and one-time New York City police officer named Joseph Guagliardo. The ex-cop has now pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to embezzle from a credit union.

“Guagliardo admitted to overcharging MCU for security services and causing the institution to pay $300,000 to his nonprofit, the National Council of Columbia Associations of Civil Service, whose mission is to promote Italian culture,” according to Crain’s New York Business. “He was one of the most vocal opponents when Mayor Bill de Blasio considered removing the statute of Christopher Columbus from Columbus Circle three years ago.”

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