NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCN) — A Wake Forest man who pleaded guilty in June to embezzling from a credit union he managed was sentenced to four years in prison on Wednesday, according to a release from the United States Department of Justice.
Johnnie Earl Harrell, 49, pleaded guilty to embezzlement charges on June 24. The charges were related to Harrell’s actions while he served as the branch manager of a credit union in Zebulon from 2008 to 2019.
According to the USDOJ, court documents and information presented in court showed that Harrell “exploited his position as branch manager to steal and embezzle at least $631,838.36 in funds belonging to the credit union and its customers.”
Some of Harrell’s victims were retirees who he had “convinced to roll over existing retirement accounts into annuities. Harrell never purchased the annuities, but instead converted the victims’ funds to personal use,” the USDOJ said.
In order to cover up his scheme, Harrell showed his clients fraudulent annuity account statements, the release said.
In addition to four years in prison, Harrell will also have five years of supervised release and will be ordered to pay restitution. The amount of restitution has not yet been determined.