Monday, January 13, 2014

Ohio Man Charged In $2.5 Million Embezzlement From Credit Union

From WKYC Channel 3 on 1/13/14:

A Concord Township man was charged in federal court for defrauding Cleveland-based Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union out of $2.5 million, said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach and Stephen D. Anthony, Cleveland FBI Special Agent in Charge.

John Struna, 51, was charged in a criminal information with one count of conspiracy to commit theft or embezzlement from a credit union.


Read the whole story here.

Update 11/25/2014

An Ohio bookkeeper was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison Tuesday for embezzling nearly $1 million from the failed Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union.

U.S. District Court Judge James Gwin also ordered Vytas Apanavicius of Mentor, an eastern Cleveland suburb, to pay $962,689 in restitution and three years of supervised release after serving his prison term.

Apanavicius pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft or embezzlement in February.
The former bookkeeper, along with five others, including Alex Spirikaitis, Taupa Lithuanian’s former president/CEO, conspired to defraud the credit union from 2007 through 2013.

The fraud case caused a $33.5 million loss to NCUSIF, according to the NCUA Office of Inspector General’s material loss report.


Read the whole update here

Update 12/1/2014:  Spirikaitis is sentenced to 10 years and ordered to pay $15 million in restitution

The CEO at the controls of a $15 million bank fraud conspiracy was sentenced Monday to spend more than 10 years in a federal prison.

U.S. District Judge James Gwin cited Alex Spirikaitis' theft of more than $4 million from the Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union in deciding on a 130-month prison sentence, plus $15 million in restitution. He will receive credit for the 13 months he has spent in federal custody.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Patton said Spirikaitis, 52, spent $100,000 of his stolen money on guns, plus $50,000 on a loge at Cleveland Browns Stadium, and $1.6 million on a home in Solon.
Gwin took special exception to Spirikaitis's plea for less prison time based on the needs of his twin teenage sons with special needs.

"It's a fairly sad day when he uses his children to try to get some benefits for himself," Gwin said. "He was sticking all these credit union customers across the country to finance his extravagance."
Assistant Federal Public Defender Darin Thompson asked for a lighter sentence based on Spirikaitis' substantial assistance to the National Credit Union Administration and its investigators.

"This was Alex's idea" to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and to assist the credit union agency, Thompson said. "He made sincere efforts to undo some of the harm he caused."
Spirikaitis told the judge that prison time was not his worst punishment.

"There is no greater punishment than knowing my family is suffering, and the hurt that I have caused them," Spirikaitis said. "I want to apologize to everyone I have hurt by my actions. I am truly sorry."
According to the charging documents, from 1995 to 2013, Spirikaitis embezzled more than $4 million from the now-defunct credit union located on East 185th Street in Cleveland. He also was personally responsible for causing $15 million in losses at the credit union, which once boasted $24 million in total assets.


Read the whole story here.

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