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Former Taupa Lithuanian CEO pleads guilty to $15M fraud
CLEVELAND, Ohio (2/5/14)--Alex Spirikaitis, the former CEO of now-defunct Taupa Lithuanian CU, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud in U.S. District Court Monday.
 
He is the fourth person related to fraud charges that led to more than $15 million in losses, causing the credit union to be closed and liquidated by the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions and the National Credit Union Administration. At the time of its closure in July, it had 1,150 members and $24 million in assets.
 
Spirikaitis, 51, personally embezzled about $4.2 million from the Cleveland, Ohio, credit union between 2011 and 2013, according to FBI records. He used the embezzled funds to buy firearms, vehicles and a luxury suite at the Cleveland Browns stadium as well as build a $1.6 million home.
 
After the credit union was liquidated, he went into hiding until his arrest in October (The Plain Dealer Jan. 4).
 
Also on Monday, Vytas Apanavicius, the external bookeeper of the credit union, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit theft or embezzlement from a credit union. According to court records, the 44-year-old Mentor man defrauded Taupa Lithuanian CU out of $962,689.
 
Spirikaitis and Apanavicius will be sentenced May 9.
 
Former teller Michael Ruksenas, 33, Naples, Fla., pleaded guilty Dec. 2 to embezzling more than $481,000 from the credit union. His sentencing is Feb. 28.
 
John Struna, 51, Concord Township, Ohio, also has been charged in federal court with one count of conspiracy to commit theft or embezzlement of $2.5 million from the credit union.
 
 


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