How would you like a house with an indoor swimming pool, two fully equipped kitchens – one downstairs and one upstairs – and an entertainment room with a big screen and movie projector?
Alex R. Spirikaitis, the former president/CEO of the liquidated Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union in Cleveland, once had all of this, plus more, until the FBI and local police came knocking on his door at his $1 million suburban house on the night of July 16.
Federal prosecutors suspect the $1 million home was built with funds embezzled by Spirikaitis from the $23.6 million Taupa Lithuanian before it was closed and liquidated in July by the NCUA.
Spirikaitis has remained wanted by the FBI for more than two months.
Among the FBI’s “most wanted” criminals, about 94% are eventually captured. Of those captured “most wanted” fugitives, about 32% of them are apprehended as a direct result of citizen cooperation, according to the FBI.
However, Spirikaitis, an accused white collar suspect, is not on the FBI’s most wanted list. At press time Tuesday morning, the FBI said it did not have information available on what is the agency’s success rate of capturing fugitives who are not on the most wanted list.
“We are continuing to follow any tips or leads that come in and we are also developing our own (leads) from the investigation,” said FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson. “We will continue that until we get him into custody.”
In August, a federal judge signed a warrant that allowed federal authorities to take possession of the home that sits vacant on five acres in Solon, a suburb about 25 miles southeast of Cleveland. To secure the home, protect it from vandalism and prepare it for winter, federal authorities compiled an inventory of the home’s contents and recently filed a one-page list in U.S. District Court in Akron.
The upstairs kitchen has a refrigerator, double oven, microwave, dishwasher, wine fridge, four bar stools and seven hanging lamps. The downstairs kitchen is equipped with a dishwasher, refrigerator, mini fridge, oven, microwave, wine fridge and a microwave drawer, according to court documents.
In addition to the swimming pool and entertainment room, the house has a weight room, an elevator, a handicap track system, and five and one-half bathrooms.
In November 2012, Spirikaitis moved into the 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.
Federal authorities also have seized four vehicles formerly owned by Spirikaitis’ wife, Julie – a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee valued at $46,925, a 2009 Dodge Challenger worth $30,450, a 2011 Ford F-150 pickup valued at $39,425, and a 2013 Dodge Charger worth $30,780, according to FBI documents.
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, falls under the embezzlement category, and because it is one that could be quickly proven, FBI officials said, they utilized the charge so authorities could quickly execute an arrest warrant.