published Friday, March 8th, 2013

Southern Credit Union embezzler sent to prison

A local woman who worked for the Chattanooga branch of Southern Credit Union will have to serve 15 months in prison and pay back nearly $400,000 she stole while working there.

Cheryl Watson was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Harry S. "Sandy" Mattice to the prison term plus five years' supervised release and ordered to pay $396,961.57 in restitution.

From March 2, 2006, until March 8, 2010, Watson transferred money several times from the credit union's exceptions account, an account "where monies are held by [the credit union] until needed to correct daily account errors."

She would then take money from that temporary holding place and disburse it to her personal accounts.

Watson faced a range of two to nearly three years, but was granted a lower sentence, court records show.

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