Spirikaitis Gets Second Extension
Alex Spirikaitis has been given a second extension to give him and his lawyer more time to conduct pre-indictment negotiations with federal prosecutors over the former CEO’s alleged role in a multimillion dollar fraud case that led collapse of the $23.6 million Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union in Cleveland.
U. S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth McHargh in Cleveland extended the Dec. 20 indictment deadline to Jan. 19, according to court records filed Tuesday.
Because Spirikaitis waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Oct. 22, his case was bound over to the federal grand jury for an indictment. The grand jury had a Nov. 20 deadline to return an indictment against him. Federal law requires a federal grand jury to return an indictment within 30 days after a suspect has been arrested and charged.
On Nov. 1, McHargh approved Spirikaitis’ first request to extend the indictment deadline to Dec. 20.
Spirikaitis, 51, 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 to a credit union. The former executive remains in federal custody after he waived his right to a bond hearing.
Court documents have revealed that more than $10 million to $16 million may have been embezzled from the credit union, making it one of the largest fraud cases in credit union history.
Federal prosecutors said other people were involved in the fraud scheme.
Former teller Michael Ruksenas pleaded guilty Dec. 10 in Cleveland’s U.S. District Court to conspiring to embezzle more than $481,000 from Taupa Lithuanian CU.
As part of a plea deal, Ruksenas, 33, has agreed to cooperate with and testify for federal prosecutors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Patton said he expects to prosecute six more people who were allegedly involved in the embezzlement conspiracy.
The FBI’s investigation found Spirikaitis received a December 2011 bank statement that showed a total of $559,468 in Taupa CU’s accounts with the $4.5 billion Corporate One Federal Credit Union in Columbus, Ohio.
However, the December 2011 NCUA Call Report falsely lists $16,165,288 in assets deposited with the corporate credit union. Spirikaitis certified the December 2011 Call Report on Feb. 16, 2012, court records showed.
Spirikaitis allegedly altered and modified Corporate One bank account statements.
Court documents also have 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.