St. Paul Croatian FCU Conviction Nets 37 Months in Prison
A Cleveland man who bilked $1.6 million in loans from the St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union in Eastlake, Ohio, will spend the next 37 months in federal prison.
Jukic Zrino also was ordered to pay $1.6 million in restitution by Judge John R. Adams in U.S. District Court in Akron on Thursday. Jukic pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of money laundering last July.
Jukic co-owned the Zlato Group with Anthony Raguz, the convicted CEO/president of SPCFCU, who was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison in November for his central role in one of the largest fraud cases in U.S. credit union history.
Federal prosecutors said Jukic provided false information on 11 loan applications from October 2003 to March 2009 to obtain $1.6 million in loans.
Through the Zlato Group, Jukic and Raguz invested most of the loans in businesses owned and operated by A. Eddy Zai. Zai pleaded guilty in November to nine counts or bank fraud, bribery, money laundering for his participation in the $70 million SPCFCU fraud case, and he faces sentencing Feb. 5 in the same Akron court.
Jukic also committed money laundering when he transferred $25,000 in SPCFCU loans from a Zlato Group bank account to his personal bank account, according to court documents.
SPCFCU was placed into conservatorship in April 2010, when it served 5,400 members and reported assets of more than $238 million.
The NCUA closed SPCFCU when it was determined to be insolvent, making it one of the largest credit-union failures in American history.
To date, 24 people have been indicted for criminal activity related to the credit union.