Former credit union manager Tracy Thibodeau, 46, of Windsor pleaded not guilty Friday, March 10 in United States District Court in Burlington to a charge of credit union fraud. Judge Kevin J. Doyle released Thibodeau on conditions pending trial, which has not been scheduled.
According to court records, on February 22, 2023, a federal grand jury in Rutland returned a one-count indictment charging Thibodeau, who at the time was known as Tracy Hill, with defrauding her former employer, the Vermont VA Federal Credit Union.
The VVAFCU is a small credit union that has one office in White River Junction. Thibodeau began working at the credit union in 2015 and was promoted to branch manager in around 2016. The credit union offered VVAFCU VISA credit cards to members and employees.
The indictment charges that in April 2019, Thibodeau misused her authority at the bank to open a personal VVVAFCU credit card account without proper authorization from her superiors.
Later in 2019, it is alleged, Thibodeau again misused her access to the credit union’s credit card processing software to grant herself, without authorization, privileged statuses on her card account. Those privileges eliminated maximum account limits; excused her from paying late fees and penalties on overdue balances; and also eliminated monthly minimum payments.
Between April 2019 and February 2021, Thibodeau used her credit card to make purchases in excess of $140,000. During that period, Thibodeau made only small monthly payments toward her large account balance.
The indictment further alleges that Thibodeau concealed her procurement and misuse of the credit card by manipulating internal credit card journal reports to hide from her superiors the existence of a large balance in her account. The credit union discovered the fraud in April 2022 and promptly fired Thibodeau. At that time, the outstanding balance on her account was more than $137,000. That loss has been absorbed by the credit union and its insurer.
If convicted, Thibodeau faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.
If that I in fact the way it happened, she deserves to get prosecuted for it. People have lost their minds….
Thirty years in prison and a million bucks in restitution. Not to diminish theft or “white collar” crime of any kind, for it is both serious & injurious – but wouldn’t it be, say, “equitable” if Vermont and/or the feds sought to routinely impose such sentences as the above for crimes of murder?
Instead, we see murderers & attempted murderers being routinely returned to public streets and constant cries for prisons to be emptied. I guess financial institutions, large corporations, & banks in fact do sway & control the government and the judiciary much more than the citizenry who seek simply greater public safety specifically for themselves and their loved ones.