HORRIFIED board members of a Sunderland credit union scammed out of £160,000 by a former employee today said they were “shocked and appalled” by the extent of his deceit.
Great North 2000 Credit Union’s former office manager Malcolm Elcoat was jailed for two years this week after he granted loans to himself, unsuspecting family members and people he had simply made up over a four-year period.
Newcastle Crown Court was told the 55-year-old had been in a trusted position with the Monkwearmouth-based credit union, which has provided financial assistance to transport workers since 2007, after a 17-year career as a bus driver.
But Elcoat, of Norbury Grove, Walker, Newcastle, abused that trust to fund a luxury lifestyle and scratchcard addiction and admitted three counts of fraud.
The money he helped himself to, in order to treat himself and others to holidays, rounds of drinks and clothing, were the savings of his former colleagues.
Now the board of directors of the credit union, which serves employees of Arriva, Go-Ahead group, Stagecoach and Nexus, have told of their disgust.
A spokesman said: “Following reports about the sentencing of a former employee of Great North 2000 Credit Union Ltd, the board of directors have moved to reassure its members.
“Since the discovery of a financial irregularity by the auditors, the credit union has co-operated fully with the police during its investigation which has led to the conviction and sentencing of a former employee.
“The board has worked with credit union regulators, its trade association and its insurers to ensure that the credit union has continued to provide a financial service to its members throughout. The credit union is insured against fraud and theft and made a successful claim in this case.
“The board were shocked and appalled by the behaviour uncovered by the police’s investigation and it is satisfied that the perpetrator has been dealt with. The board is committed to serving the credit union and its members and ensured the continued success of the Great North 2000 Credit Union Ltd.”