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CLEVELAND -- A Concord Township man was charged in federal court for defrauding Cleveland-based Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union out of $2.5 million, said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach and Stephen D. Anthony, Cleveland FBI Special Agent in Charge.

John Struna, 51, was charged in a criminal information with one count of conspiracy to commit theft or embezzlement from a credit union.

"This defendant is part of a group that took advantage of the trust of hundreds of people for their own personal gain," Dettelbach said. "These criminal charges should serve as a reminder that there is no such things as free money."

"John Struna willfully overdrew his credit union accounts to the tune of $2.5 million through his relationship with a corrupt executive at the credit union," Anthony said. "The FBI will continue efforts to make sure all the individuals responsible for the collapse of the Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union are held accountable."

The National Credit Union Administration and the Ohio Department of Commerce took possession of Taupa last 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.

Credit union CEO Alex Spirikaitis and former teller Michael Ruksenas have previously been charged for their roles in conspiracies related to defrauding the credit union.

Struna maintained both personal and corporate accounts at Taupa dating back to 1995. He began a conspiracy with Spirikaitisin 2007, during which time Struna overdrew his accounts by approximately $2.5 million, according to the information.

Struna called Spirikaitis about twice a month and requested Spirikaitis' approval to withdraw additional funds. Spirikaitis made multiple transfers from Taupa's internal accounts to cover the overdrafts, according to the information.

Spirikaitis caused Taupa to make approximately 38 false and fraudulent wire transfers into Struna's personal accounts between 2007 and 2013. During that time, Struna repaid only approximately $15,000, according to the information.

In 2011, Struna requested and received $112,105 from Spirikaitis for the purchase of a condominium located in Ft. Myers, Florida. In 2012, he requested and received approximately $100,000 for an investment opportunity. At no time did Struna submit any credit applications or loan documents, according to the information.

As a result of the conspiracy, Taupa and the NCUA suffered a loss of approximately $2.5 million, according to the information.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Derek Kleinmann and Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Patton. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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