Liddle prohibited from working with any insured financial institution
William Liddle, the former business lending officer at AEA Federal Credit Union who currently is in prison, has been prohibited from participating either directly or indirectly in the affairs of any insured financial institution.
The prohibition was announced last week by the National Credit Union Administration. Violation of a prohibition order is a felony offense punishable by imprisonment and a fine of up to $1 million.
A jury in February 2012 convicted Liddle of 54 counts of conspiracy, fraud, wire fraud and transactional money laundering for his role in a loan kickback scheme that cost AEA millions of dollars while he was employed by the credit union. He was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison and five years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $25 million in restitution.
An 11-month federal investigation conducted by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office revealed that Liddle approved more than $25 million in fraudulent business loans that led to significant losses for AEA. The NCUA placed the credit union in conservatorship in December 2010.
Liddle, his wife, Rhonda, and Yuma businessman Frank Ruiz were arrested in December 2010 for their roles in the $1 million kickback scheme.
During the Liddles' trial, Ruiz, who reached a plea agreement, testified about receiving millions of dollars in loans at the direction of Liddle. The loans were for five business entities Ruiz either owned or was a partner in that all ended in bankruptcy. Among the businesses were the Yuma Fun Factory and Top of the Kress.
Ruiz also testified about receiving checks from his various AEA loans, then making thousands of dollars in cash payments to the Liddles as well as purchasing a home and two vehicles for the couple.
In exchange for his cooperation in the prosecution of the Liddles, Ruiz received a lesser sentence of two years in prison.
Rhonda Liddle was sentenced to 12 months of home arrest so she could remain with the couple's two children.
Liddle was hired by AEA in November 2004 to develop and manage a business services program for the credit union.
According to the Yuma Sun archives, for 15 years prior to joining AEA, Liddle was a financial adviser to leading multinational corporations and global financial institutions, having worked in commercial lending, financial engineering and risk management, and the global capital markets.
Liddle left AEA in December of 2009, stating his intention to devote full-time attention to a business, Desert Capital Advisors, LLC.
Despite its financial troubles, AEA recently posted positive financials for 2012, according to the NCUA. Total assets at the end of the fourth quarter stood at $231 million, and the net worth ratio improved by 137 basis points from year-end 2011, ending the fourth quarter at 4.02 percent, according to NCUA.