Two plead guilty in scheme to defraud credit union

CLEVELAND -- Two men have pleaded guilty in a scheme that defrauded a credit union of nearly $1 million.

According to federal officials, Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union CEO Alex Spirikaitis, 51, of Solon and Vytas Apanavicious, 44, of Mentor will be sentenced May 9.

Apanavicius, a former bookkeeper at the credit union, became aware that Spirikaitis routinely deposited and transferred Taupa funds into member accounts to cover multiple overdrafts, according to said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Apanavicius owned VPA Accounting Inc., through which he provided bookkeeping and accounting services from 1995 through 2013. These services included recording month-end journal entries for general ledger accounts, paying and recording monthly expenses and compiling monthly balance sheets and income statements, according to the information.

Apanavicius then withdrew funds from his accounts and did not maintain sufficient balances to cover withdrawals. Spirikaitis deposited and transferred Taupa funds into Apanavicius' accounts to cover his overdrafts and withdrawals, according to the information.

Michael Ruksenas, 33, of Naples, Fla., and John Struna, 51, of Concord Township, have also been charged for their roles in the conspiracy.

Spirikaitis caused Taupa to make approximately 72 false and fraudulent deposits and transfers into Apanavicius' accounts. He also provided Apanavicius with approximately $25,000 in fraudulent proceeds from Taupa for the purchase of a new Jeep Cherokee, according to the information.

As a result of that conspiracy, Taupa and the National Credit Union Administration suffered a loss of approximately $962,689, according to the information.

The NCUA and the Ohio Department of Commerce took possession of Taupa in July and placed it into receivership due to its insolvency. Taupa had about 1,150 members and assets of approximately $24 million, according to court records.


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