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posted: 9/21/2012 6:14 PM

Former Aurora credit union president stole to gamble: court records

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The former president of the Aurora Firefighters Credit Union faces felony charges alleging she stole $36,000 from the group over a five-year span in an effort to feed a gambling addiction, according to authorities and court documents.

Anne M. Schaal, 66, of the 0-99 block of Birchwood Court, Sugar Grove, turned herself in this week and also is being sued by the union.

According to court records, a gambling addiction led her to steal from the union as well as lose some $580,000 that belonged to her and her husband.

Aurora Police spokesman Dan Ferrelli said authorities began investigating last December and Schaal surrendered earlier this week after a warrant was issued.

Ferrelli said Schaal is free on bond while her case is pending and she is next due in court on Oct. 5.

She faces up to seven years in prison on the most severe theft charge that she stole more that $10,000 from January 2006 through November 2011. Probation also is an option.

According to a lawsuit filed by the union, Schaal was credit union president from July 1996 through November 2011 and bilked the union out of $36,076 through improper use of union credit cards and "phantom payments" in the union's ledger. The suit also claims the union incurred more than $20,000 to hire a temporary worker to handle her duties until a replacement was found.

"The (Aurora Firefighters Credit Union) recently discovered that while Anne was an employee and president of the AFFCU, she intentionally used AFFCU funds and processes for improper uses, including for her personal benefit, and committed other wrongful acts," the suit states.

The suit argues that Schaal should be held liable for breach of contract and fiduciary duty along with fraud. The case is next due in court on Nov. 29.

Schaal's husband filed for divorce this past spring and in an agreement signed in mid-September, Anne Schaal owns up to her addiction, court records show.

"Anne acknowledges and admits that she became addicted to gambling during the marriage, kept such gambling activity and addiction a secret from (her husband), and absconded with at least $580,503 in marital funds which she used to go gambling," the agreement states.

In the agreement, Schaal's ex-husband gets to keep their Sugar Grove home and he will provide her with $60,062 to help pay for legal fees in upcoming civil and criminal cases.

A message left for Reginald Campbell, who is Schaal's defense attorney in the lawsuit, was not immediately returned.

It was unclear Friday if she had retained a defense attorney in the criminal case.

Cletus Rettenmeier, president of the credit union, could not be reached for comment Friday.

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