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Originally published Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 11:58 AM

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W.Va. credit union CEO charged with embezzling

The former chief executive of a failed West Virginia credit union was arrested Tuesday and charged with embezzling more than $1 million.

AP Business Writer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. —

The former chief executive of a failed West Virginia credit union was arrested Tuesday and charged with embezzling more than $1 million.

Bernie D. Metz is accused of taking the funds from Center Valley Federal Credit Union over a five-year period, according to court records. The FBI and National Credit Union Administration Board estimate in a court document that almost $9 million is missing from the Wheeling-based institution.

Metz, 56, was Center Valley's CEO when the National Credit Union Administration declared it insolvent and ordered it liquidated in February. At the time, Center Valley had 3,150 members and approximately $8 million in deposits.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James Seibert released Metz on $1 million bond Tuesday. She is barred from obtaining a passport and must stay in northern West Virginia except for appointments with an attorney in western Pennsylvania, according to court records. She also is barred from transferring assets without court approval.

Metz did not immediately respond to a telephone message Tuesday. She is due back in court Aug. 4.

Authorities claim in court records that Metz spent money from the credit union's own accounts and some of its customers to purchase a small fleet of vehicles including a $35,000 vintage Ford Thunderbird, three Mercedes, and a 1962 Volkswagen Beetle worth $20,000. She's accused of funneling another $700,000 to the Roadworthy Restaurant and Tavern in West Liberty for improvements and operating costs.

Prosecutors said they have seized six vehicles, including two Mercedes, three bank accounts and a piece of property from Metz.

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