A former board member for the Edinburg Teachers Credit Union is being hauled into court after a federal regulator claimed he has not complied with a subpoena issued to him as part of an investigation which placed the credit union into conservatorship in March.
In a filing in federal court Friday, the National Credit Union Administration Board asked a federal judge to compel Brian J. Warren, a board member for the credit union from August 2014 until March 2021, to comply with the subpoena that was issued to him in April.
According to the NCUA’s petition to the court, Warren, the board secretary, claimed he did not have documents requested in the investigative subpoena and wrote to the NCUA in an email on May 11 that it was board policy to “destroy documents at the conclusion of any board meeting. This was done to protect the information of the members.”
In his third attempt to get Warren to comply with the subpoena, enforcement counsel for the NCUA, Bruce Heygi, wrote in an email:
“In a final effort to avoid the need to file a legal action in Federal Court against you, please be advised that we are aware (without limitation) that:
>> You had a personal financial relationship with (President and CEO) Jeffrey Moats; that he made you at least one $10,000 personal loan, with regard to which you made monthly payments to him over several years;
>> Mr. Moats and various (former) Board Members frequently engaged in text communications and/or email communications before and/or after March 26, 2021; and
>> Mr. Moats made regular cash gifts and/or other gifts to the various (former) Board Members.”
As of their court filing, the NCUA stated that Warren had not responded nor had he made objections to the subpoena.
Warren, an associate professor in the theater department for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, did not return messages seeking comment Friday.
The investigation into the conduct and affairs of the Edinburg Teachers Credit Union began March 10 when it was launched by the NCUA’s general counsel. Then, on March 26, the Texas Credit Union Department appointed the NCUA as the credit union’s conservator.
At the time, the Texas Credit Union Department stated in a news release that the conservatorship was “to protect the membership’s interests” but did not offer any other details.
John J. Kohloff, TCUD commissioner, explained he could not discuss details behind their decision because of the Texas finance code which states that a conservatorship order and documents relating to the order are confidential.
But behind the scenes, the investigation into the ETCU continued and, as part of it, the NCUA issued a subpoena to Warren on April 20 that requested all documents and communications between Warren, Moats, other board members, and members of the credit union’s audit committee by May 6.
It was broken down into 17 categories of documents, including:
>> All documents relating to any business dealings between Warren and any of the named board or committee members and/or any of their immediate family members
>> All documents relating to any financial arrangements between Warren and any of the named board or committee members and/or any of their immediate family members
>> All documents relating to any loans made, accepted, co-signed, guaranteed by Warren and any of the named board or committee members and/or any of their immediate family members
>> All documents relating to any monetary and/or non-monetary gifts and/or gratuities Warren made to and/or received from any of the named board or committee members and/or any of their immediate family members
The specific board members listed in the subpoena included Board Chairman Richard K. Kanipe, Vice Chairman Joe L. Cantu Jr., and Board Member Dale Ramos.
The audit committee members listed in the subpoena included Chairman Donald Strong, and Committee Member Daniel Roma.
Along with those members, the subpoena also listed a man named Ted Miller in those requests but Miller’s identity and his ties to the credit union remain unclear.
The Monitor reached out to one man named Ted Miller who owns Miller & Associates, a real estate company based in Edinburg. But although this Miller acknowledged banking with the Edinburg credit union, he said he did not know Warren.
Kanipe, the Edinburg credit union’s board chairman, said Friday he did not know anything about the alleged loans or monetary gifts that were referenced in the subpoena.
When pressed about the credit union’s current situation, Kanipe said he did not know why it had been placed under conservatorship but declined to answer anymore questions on the matter.