A federal judge has signed a warrant to seize a $1 million home that federal prosecutors allege was built with funds embezzled by Alex R. Spirikaitis, an FBI fugitive and former president/CEO of the $23.6 million Taupa Lithuanian in Cleveland that was closed and liquidated in July by the NCUA.
Spirikaitis’ wife, Julie A. Spirikaitis, who is co-owner of the home, has voluntarily signed an agreement consenting to and waiving any court hearing concerning the seizure of the home, court documents show. She has moved into another home with her two children.
Moreover, federal prosecutors said there are “exigent circumstances” to take over the property to protect it from vandalism and to winterize the home located in Solon, a suburb about 25 miles southeast of Cleveland.
“Because the subject property is vacant, only government possession and control of the property is sufficient to prevent vandalism and to prepare the property for cold weather,” state court papers.
The property is considered a “high end property” containing “any number of valuable fixtures and improvements,” according to court documents.
A neighbor has told the Credit Union Times that the large rustic-sided home has a wrap-around porch, an indoor pool and an elevator. It sits on five acres and a 400-foot driveway leads to a water fountain in front of the home.
U.S. District Court Judge John R. Adams in Akron signed a warrant on Aug. 29, allowing federal authorities to seize the property.
Court documents state that Alex Spirikaitis’ “whereabouts are unknown.”
The FBI search for Spirikaitis began on July 16 when local police thought they were in a standoff after arriving at the home to arrest him at around 8 p.m. However, when authorities entered the home the next morning, he was not there.
For safety’s sake for the residential neighborhood, police waited until daybreak for tactical teams to move in. Additionally, the size of the large home played a part in the decision to wait until daylight before entering, according to the FBI.
The official charge the FBI has brought against Spirikaitis, making false credit institution entries, is an unusual one. The charge falls under the embezzlement category, and because it is one that could be quickly proven, FBI officials utilized the charge so authorities could quickly execute an arrest warrant.
In November 2012, Spirikaitis moved into the new home with his wife and their two children. Court documents show the construction of the home, which took a year, was first paid for with two checks totaling $100,000 from his TLCU personal account.
“All remaining checks – totaling approximately $1,555,132 – came from Spirikaitis in the form of Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union official checks,” court documents state. “While working at the Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union, Spirikaitis never made in excess of $50,000.”
The home is valued at approximately $1 million, according to court documents.
Soon after TLCU was placed into conservatorship on July 12, NCUA auditors discovered Spirikaitis allegedly forged deposit account statements from the credit union’s accounts at the $4.5 billion Corporate One Federal Credit Union in Columbus, Ohio and used the stolen money to construct the home.