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Nine indicted in St. Paul Croatian FCU collapse
CLEVELAND (3/4/11)--A federal grand jury in Cleveland indicted nine people Wednesday on fraud charges related to the collapse of St. Paul Croatian FCU in Eastlake, Ohio, last April. Those charged include: Anthony Raguz, 51, of Mentor; Koljo Nikolovski, 48, of Eastlake; Rose Ann Nikolovski, 48, of Eastlake; Marko Nikoli, 33, of Eastlake; John Cendol Jr., 48, of Kirtland; Ruth Cendol, 55, of Kirtland; Daniel Kocher, 72, of Euclid; Edward Watral, 37, of Creston; and Jennifer Cerjan, 33, of Orrville (Fox 8.com March 2). A 26-count indictment was filed against these individuals who federal prosecutors said were responsible for the fraud that forced the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to liquidate what remained of the credit union’s assets, according to the Justice Department. Raguz, who was chief operating officer at the credit union, allegedly issued more than 1,000 fraudulent loans totaling more than $70 million to about 300 account holders from 2000 to April 2010, according to the indictment, Fox 8 said. Prosecutors allege that Koljo Nikolovski was one of the primary recipients of the fraudulent loans, allegedly receiving several loans from the credit union totaling $2.9 million during a two-year period from 2003 to 2005, Fox 8 said. The NCUA Office of the Inspector General (IG) revealed in October that the fraudulent loans put 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 Raguz “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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