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News Now

CU System
Man indicted for fraud related to CUs demise
CLEVELAND, Ohio (1/7/11)--An Eastlake, Ohio, man has been indicted and charged with bank fraud and money laundering stemming from the collapse last April of St. Paul Croatian FCU, based in Eastlake. Koljo Nikolovski, 48, who has residences in Eastlake and in Skopje, Macedonia, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday for fraudulently obtaining $2.5 million in loans and placing the money in a personal bank account before wiring about $2.3 million of the proceeds to a bank in Skopje (Cleveland Plain Dealer via Cleveland.com Jan. 5). The newspaper reported that the indictment said Nikolovski was not eligible for the loan because he previously defaulted on more than $1 million in loans. It alleged he paid cash bribes and kickbacks to the credit union's CEO in influence him to issue the fraudulent loans. It also said that the CEO--who has not been charged with any crime--reset the loans when they defaulted. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Office of the Inspector General (IG) revealed in October that the fraudulent loans catapulted the credit union into liquidation, with losses to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund totaling $170 million (News Now Oct. 14). The IG report also noted that the CEO "manipulated loan records and masked the suspected loan fraud by constantly refinancing certain loans or making advance payment on those loans." St. Paul Croatian FCU was placed into conservatorship April 23 and closed May 1. At the time of its closing, it held $238.8 million in funds from 5,400 members (News Now May 4).


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