The former head of the CBS Employees Federal Credit Union in Studio City, who committed one of the credit union industry’s largest embezzlements, has signed a plea deal with federal prosecutors admitting to taking more than $40 million from the institution over the past two decades.
He also forfeited several millions of dollars in assets and properties in California, Nevada and Mexico.
Edward Martin Rostohar of Studio City was arrested March 12 and charged with two felony counts of bank fraud and one felony count of aggravated identity theft in connection with an alleged 20-year embezzlement scheme.
Court documents show Rostohar forfeited $275,528 in cash and a collection of precious metal coins and bars seized by Los Angeles police on March 12 as he was backing out of his Studio City driveway in a Porsche. Another $23,830 held by Rostohar in a Citibank account also was forfeited.
The 62-year-old Rostohar was arraigned in late April when he pleaded not guilty to the original charges. A federal jury trial had been set for June 11.
According to court documents provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, Rostohar agreed during a May 10 hearing to plead guilty to one felony count of bank fraud. The government is recommending a prison sentence not longer than 15 years.
The National Credit Union Administration liquidated CBS Employees and discontinued its operations after determining the financial institution was insolvent in the wake of Rostohar’s indictment. The $721 million-in-asset University Credit Union, located in Westwood, took over the $21 million-in-asset CBS Employees’ assets, loans and all member shares on March 29.
CBS Employees Federal Credit Union is not connected on a corporate level to CBS Corp. The financial institution had $20 million in assets and 2,798 members when it was taken over by University Credit Union.
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