Former credit union teller charged with two counts of embezzlements

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LANSING — A former teller at Michigan First Credit Union has been charged with two counts of Embezzlement from a Financial Institution.

Stephanie Joyce-Bennett Beauford, 52, of Redford faces a 20-year felony – for allegedly withdrawing $24,000 from a 92-year-old’s account.

Joyce-Beauford was arraigned in Wayne County 36th District Court last month after an investigation by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) and the Department of Attorney General’s Financial Crimes Division. 

Beauford had been employed at Michigan First Credit Union since 2005. She was terminated after an interview in which she admitted taking out funds from the account of an elderly customer, who was hospitalized at the time.  

“Our office will continue to prosecute those who prey on Michigan’s most vulnerable,” said Nessel.  “I am grateful for the diligent work of our investigators and prosecutors as we identify elder abuse – in this case financial abuse – and bring those abusers to justice.”

In early 2018, the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services referred the alleged embezzlement to the Michigan Attorney General. The issue came to DIFS’ attention following a complaint submitted by the victim’s family.  DIFS’ examination discovered irregularities and referred the case to the Attorney General for criminal prosecution.

“This year, the DIFS’ Fraud Investigation Unit was codified in law to investigate fraudulent and criminal activities in the financial and insurance markets,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Investigating consumer complaints and stopping fraud is a high priority for DIFS. This case is another example of the great partnership between DIFS and Attorney General Dana Nessel to protect Michigan consumers.”

Beauford is scheduled for a Preliminary Examination Tuesday, December 10, 2019 in front of Judge Kenyetta Jones of the Wayne County 36th District Court.

Anyone who suspects elder abuse of any kind is encouraged to report it to the Attorney General’s Elder Abuse tip line at mi.gov/elderabuse or 800-242-2873.

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