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Estate of Financial Center's former CEO seeks death benefit

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The widow of former Financial Center CEO Roger Youngs alleges in a lawsuit that the Indianapolis credit union owes his estate $936,162, per his retirement agreement.

Mary Ellen Youngs of Fishers filed the complaint in Marion Superior Court in late April. This month, Financial Center had the complaint transferred to U.S. District Court.

Roger Youngs died in November 2011 at age 64, following a fight with cancer.

He resigned as president and CEO in 2009, but Youngs alleges her husband remained an employee of what’s now the city’s fifth-largest credit union.

According to Youngs, her husband was to receive payments equal to his current salary for 24 months following his resignation. Her complaint alleges that if he terminated his employment due to disability before that period ended that he was owed a payout, with the amount determined through a predetermined formula.

Youngs was declared disabled in February 2011, before his two years of post-executive employment period was completed, Youngs says. 

Last November, attorneys for Financial Center denied Youngs’ claim, saying they disagreed that her husband remained an employee of the credit union after he stepped down from the role as CEO. Thus he forfeited the benefit to which he would have been entitled upon disability.

The credit union’s attorneys at Krieg DeVault also countered that the former CEO was paid 24 months of severance pay, although the amount is not specified.

“Although we have yet to respond to the lawsuit, we will be denying the allegations in the complaint and vigorously defending the lawsuit,” said Annette Roy, Financial Center’s vice president of membership development.

Roger Youngs was born in Seneca Falls, N.Y., and was a graduate of St. Bonaventure University. A U.S. Army veteran, he worked at credit unions including Power Federal Credit Union in Syracuse, N.Y.  He moved to Indianapolis in 1998. The Youngs have three sons.

Financial Center, still known to many as Finance Center, was formed in 1953 to serve personnel at the former Fort Benjamin Harrison, which now houses a colossal finance center for the U.S. military.

In April, Financial Center merged with $64.5 million-asset Horizon One Federal Credit Union (originally Chevy Credit Union), which had served the now-closed General Motors metal stamping plant west of downtown.

The merger boosted Financial Center to about $500 million in assets and a total 57,000 members.  It had 2012 net income of $2.1 million.

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