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NCUA seeks 2.2M from St. Paul Croatian members
AKRON, Ohio (10/12/11)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) filed a lawsuit Friday in a federal bankruptcy court in Akron, Ohio, against two members of the now defunct St. Paul Croatian FCU, seeking more than $2.2 million on defaulted loans related to a scheme that involved kickbacks to the Eastlake, Ohio, credit union's former chief operating officer. In the court document, filed Friday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division, Akron, NCUA alleged that Sinisa Nmn Baros and Simona Nmn Baros of Medina, Ohio, owe $2.2 million for multiple loan principals and interest for loans fraudulently granted them by the credit union's former chief operating officer, Anthony Raguz. The Baros couple filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on March 25, said the document. NCUA is seeking to make the amounts owed nondischargeable in bankruptcy. NCUA placed the credit union into involuntary liquidation on April 30, 2010. Raguz has pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud, money laundering and bribery related to more than 1,000 fraudulent loans totaling more than $70 million to more than 300 account holders between 2000 and April 2010. He was one of 16 people charged for their roles in the credit union's collapse. Raguz is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 4 (News Now Sept. 29). NCUA's complaint said that Sinisa Nmn Baross received multiple loans from the credit union through Raguz and refinanced loans numerous times. Each time he allegedly received additional advances of money, and failed to disclose changes in his financial condition, such as unemployment. NCUA also alleged that he misrepresented his income on at least one application to obtain loans, and that Raguz and Baros shifted loans to Mrs. Baros' share account to spread the loan money over a broader base. The complaint also alleged that the couple made no payments on the loans from 2002 to 2010 and provided no collateral for the loans, except for a home loan. It charged that Raguz took kickbacks of as much as $30,000 to process the loans. The liquidation of St. Paul Croatian FCU cost the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund about $170 million in losses, making it the largest credit union failure in history.


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