Solon man sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison for defrauding credit union out of $15m

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Alex Spirikaitis without facial hair.

SOLON, Ohio- The former Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union CEO was sentenced to nearly 11 years in jail after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Alex Spirikaitis, 52, lead a conspiracy defrauding the credit union out of $15 million, according to United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Steven M. Dettelbach, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office.

Personally, Spirikaitis embezzled around $4.2 million over a  12 year period from 2001-2013. He used that money to build a home in Solon, obtain a luxury suite at Cleveland Browns games and buy several firearms, which he stored at the credit union. He also purchased  nine vehicles for himself and his family.

He spent a total of $1, 655,000 in Taupa funds between November 2011 and November 2012 to build his Liberty Road home in Solon, according to court records.

On top of his 130 month sentence, US District Judge James Gwin ordered Spirikaitis to pay $15 million in restitution.

“This defendant is now paying the price for stealing millions of dollars from credit union members who entrusted him,” Dettelbach said. “He lived a life of luxury based on stolen money.”

According to court records, Taupa had about 1,150 members and assets of about $24 million.

In addition to his personal fraud, he allowed several other associates and friends to overdraw accounts by more than $1 million and approved loans without asking for relevant financial records, according to court records.

The FBI investigated the case, while Assistant US Attorney Robert J. Patton and Special Assistant US Attorney Derek Kleinmann prosecuted the case.

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