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Restaurant owner sentenced in St Paul Croatian FCU fraud
EAST LAKE, Ohio (2/4/13)--An Ohio restaurateur was sentenced  Tuesday to two years in prison and ordered to pay $1.6 million in restitution for his involvement with a loan fraud scheme that led to the failure of East Lake, Ohio-based St. Paul Croatian FCU in 2010.

Bujar "Benny" Sejdic, also known by Burjar Sejdui, 33, had pleaded guilty in October to financial institution fraud, giving gifts for procuring loans and three counts of money laundering (WebTimes.com Jan. 30).

Court documents said that from January 2004 to March 2010, Sejdic received 25 fraudulent loans totaling more than $1.6 million from the credit union. The loans were made under false pretenses, and many loans were made after he already had defaulted on previous loans from the credit union.

In 2009-2010, Sejdic allegedly wired $240,000 from his account at the credit union to an account in Belgrade, Serbia.

Sejdic allegedly gave the credit union's CEO, Anthony Raguz, one check and gifts totaling $40,000 to obtain the loans. 

Raguz is serving a 14-year prison term for accepting bribes, kickbacks and gifts in exchange for loans. He allegedly issued more than 1,000 fraudulent loans totaling more than $70 million to roughly 300 accountholders and accepted more than $1 million in bribes (News Now Nov. 27).

So far, 24 people have been indicted on charges related to the frauds.

The credit union was closed in spring 2010 by the National Credit Union Administration. The frauds cost the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund more than $170 million.


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