Yolanda Gomez ordered to repay LICU more than 400 thousand dollars
Former General Manager, Yolanda Gomez, of La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited (LICU) has been ordered to repay $436,906.34 (BzD) to the institution. The order was initially handed down in the High Court by Justice Michelle Arana, but the matter was appealed. The judgement of the appeal was delivered on Friday, July 7, 2023, and supported Justice Arana’s March 2021 ruling. The judgment also declared that Gomez was not wrongfully terminated back in July 2015. It is a victory for the credit union as they issued a release assuring it members that their money is safe. Love News spoke with Acting General Manager, Marisa Gonzalez.
Marisa Gonzalez, Acting General Manager (LICU): “We received the news last week and we are happy to share to our members that her appeal was thrown off and the judgment stands that she needs to pay us the $436,000. That money is our members’ hard earned money, therefore we believe that it should be paid off. Since that entire ordeal, many things have changed here. We currently have our internal auditor. We have a compliance auditor, certified and also we have put in place many policies of which there weren’t too many at the time. We have a credit policy, a very stringent one. We have our AML policies. We have different policies and I can attest that the Central Bank has been closely looking into all these policies as well. We have come into place because we want to assure to our members that our monies are well taken care of at La Inmaculada Credit Union. Here at LICU, our board, our directors and our committee members, we are working hard the staff as well, we’re working hard to make good use of their money, to invest it wisely and to ensure that it is being used as how it should. And also we want them to know that we are looking to grow the membership and we want them to feel that their monies are safe for us. And I think this case is assurance to our membership to see that we are here for them.”
Gomez’ termination stemmed from an internal investigation for non-compliance with the banking processes plus several questionable decisions she had made. Gomez subsequently sued LICU for wrongful termination, and LICU fired back with a countersuit. The first court ruling on the matter was in March 2021 when Madam Justice Michelle Arana ruled that Gomez was not wrongfully terminated, and that she must pay LICU BZ$436,906.34 in damages for losses suffered by the credit union under her management. Gomez was employed at LICU for 24 years.