CLEVELAND (12/27/12)--Another figure arrested in the loan fraud scheme that contributed to the collapse in 2010 of Eastlake, Ohio-based St. Paul Croatian FCU has entered a not guilty plea for his alleged role in the case.
Svetislav Vujovic, 40, of Brunswick, Ohio, pleaded not guilty Friday in a federal court in Cleveland to one count of financial institution fraud, one count of bribery in connection with the business dealings of a financial institution, and two counts of money laundering.
The indictment filed against him earlier this month alleged that from January 2004 to January 2008, he fraudulently obtained loans totaling about $2.2 billion, which were not repaid (Medina County Gazette Dec. 8).
Vujovic is one of nearly 20 people who have been arrested for the fraud scheme.
The scheme involved $1 million in kickbacks, bribes and gifts paid to the defunct credit union's CEO, Anthony Raguz, in return for issuing more than 1,000 fraudulent loans to more than 300 account holders at the credit union. The loans were worth a total $70 million and were allegedly made from 2000 to April 2010, when the credit union was placed into conservatorship, then liquidated by the National Credit Union Administration.
Raguz was sentenced last month to 14 years in prison (News Now Nov. 27). The alleged ringleader. Koljo Nikolovski, 49, of Eastlake and Skopje, Macedonia, was sentenced to 18 years in prison (News Now May 14).
The closure of the credit union, which cost the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund more than $170 million, was one of the costliest credit union failures in history