CLEVELAND — Alex R. Spirikaitis, the central figure of the $15 million fraud scheme that led to the collapse of the Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union, was sentenced to 130 months in federal prison Dec. 1 by U.S. District Court James S. Gwin in Cleveland.

Gwin also ordered the former cooperative president/CEO to pay $15 million in restitution to the NCUA even though Spirikaitis personally embezzled approximately $4.2 million.

Gwin said Spirikaitis facilitated the theft by enabling co-conspirators to steal $15 million from a credit union that had only $23.6 million in assets. The NCUA and the Ohio Department of Commerce took possession of Taupa Lithuanian in July 2013 and placed it into receivership because of insolvency. The Cleveland cooperative served about 1,150 members.

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