Westlake man charged for $2.8 million scheme involving St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union official
A criminal information has been filed charging Aziz Ukshini with crimes related to defrauding St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union out of $2.8 million, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Ukshini, age 38, resides in Westlake, Ohio. He was charged with 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 information alleges that, from September 2003 through March 2010, Ukshini, aided and abetted by Anthony Raguz, the former Chief Operating Officer of St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union, fraudulently obtained numerous loans totaling approximately $2.8 million from the credit union.
The information further alleges that Ukshini obtained these loans by making false representations and promises, and he received the loans after having already defaulted on previous loans issued to him by the credit union. These loans were obtained in the names Aziz Ukshini; Hard Rock Crushing, Ltd.; and Azmet, Inc.
The information alleges that St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union lost approximately $2.8 million as a result of Ukshini’s fraudulent conduct.
The information also charges Ukshini with corruptly giving Anthony Raguz two checks and cash payments totaling approximately $90,000 to induce and reward Raguz for approving and facilitating the approval of the fraudulent loans to Ukshini.
The information also charges Ukshini with two counts of money laundering for withdrawing $20,000 and $55,000 with official checks from the Hard Rock Crushing, Ltd., account at St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union and negotiating those checks at Fifth Third Bank.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John D. Sammon and Bridget M. Brennan, following an investigation by the Cleveland Offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.
An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.