Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan was not impressed. He said Kaufman had shown no remorse or understanding that he had broken the law and harmed the 20,000 members of Melrose who drove taxis around the clock to pay off their loans.
“You don’t understand,” the judge said as Kaufman shook his head vigorously.
“It was a family business,” Kaplan said of the credit union previously run by Kaufman’s father and grandfather. “If you had a delicatessen, you could do whatever you wanted. But it was a federally insured credit union and you weren’t aware of it. “
Kaufman’s activities were revealed by childhood friend and former Melrose marketing director Rob Nemeroff, who filed a complaint with regulators after being fired in 2015.
In a statement, US lawyer Audrey Strauss said: “Kaufman has evaded his duty to act in the best interests of the credit union and its account holders, by exploiting his position for personal gain.”
Kaufman’s criminal partner Georgiton was sentenced to probation in January after pleading guilty to bribery. Judge Kaplan refused to lock Georgiton up because Covid rates were so high at the time.
Kaufman is due to visit the Prisons Office on November 29.