Feds Win Right to Sell Spirikaitis Home
Authorities now have permission to sell the million-dollar home of Alex Spirikaitis, the former CEO of the now-shuttered $23.6 million Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union in Cleveland.
U.S District Judge John R. Adams in Akron, Ohio, approved a final forfeiture order Monday that allows the federal government to sell the property in suburban Solon, Ohio.
“It appears to the court that proper proceedings for the issuance of a final order of forfeiture have been had in this case,” Adams wrote in the order.
Spirikaitis had been a fugitive since July until he was nabbed by federal agents while walking on a sidewalk on Cleveland’s east side on Oct. 21. He has been charged with making false statements about the credit union’s finances and is in federal custody.
Court documents revealed that more than $10 million may have been embezzled from the credit union, which would make it one of the largest fraud cases in credit union history.
Spirikaitis waived a preliminary hearing on Oct. 22 in U.S. District Court in Cleveland and a federal grand jury now has a Dec. 20 deadline to return an indictment.
Proceeds from the sale of Spirikaitis’ home in the Cleveland suburb of Solon will be distributed to NCUA, according to court documents. The federal agency closed Taupa Lithuanian CU in July after declaring it was no longer solvent.
Funds from the sale of the home will also pay a $30,514 bill owed to a local contractor who landscaped Spirikaitis’ home. The U.S. government also would be reimbursed for costs related to the seizure of the property, court documents show.
In September, federal prosecutors seized the home, which features an indoor pool, entertainment room, a weight room, an elevator, a handicap track system, five and one-half bathrooms, and a fully equipped upstairs and downstairs kitchen.
Federal authorities suspect the house was built with funds embezzled from the credit union as Spirikaitis was earning only $50,000 annually, according to court papers.
Court documents also revealed that NCUA authorities discovered 10,000 rounds of ammunition and multiple semi-automatic weapons in the credit union's storage room in July when they seized the institution.
What remains a mystery is why Spirikaitis kept these weapons and ammunition in the credit union. Federal prosecutors and the FBI declined to comment on Spirikaitis' intent.
The NCUA recently announced it would open a new office focused on security for examiners.