California teller who stole from elderly members sentenced

When a California credit union teller began stealing money in 2009, she knew it was wrong but she couldn’t stop. By the time her fraudulent scheme was exposed in 2015, the teller pilfered more than $410,000 from senior citizens, including a few who had dementia.

For her embezzlement and filing a false income tax return, Allison M. Bushart, a former teller for the $5.4 billion Patelco Credit Union in Pleasanton, Calif., was sentenced March 29 to two years and seven months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seborg in San Francisco.

According to court documents, Bushart stole money from 23 members who were senior citizens, who ranged in age from 66 to 92, and one account holder was a minor.

“A few victim accountholders had dementia or were otherwise unable to manage their affairs,” federal prosecutors wrote in a court memo. “Some have since died. Except for M.S. (member), the victim who initially denied that the identified transactions were unauthorized, Patelco has since reimbursed all of the victims in the total amount of $396,000.”

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