Brunswick man indicted for role in credit-Union Fraud
A federal grand jury in Cleveland returned an indictment against Svetislav Vujovich charging him 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, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Vujovich, age 40, resides in Brunswick, Ohio, according to court records.
The indictment alleges that, from January 2004 through January 2008, Vujovich, aided and abetted by Anthony Raguz, the former Chief Operating Officer of St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union, fraudulently obtained numerous loans totaling approximately $2.2 million from the credit union.
The indictment further alleges that Vujovich obtained these loans by making false representations and promises, and he received many of those loans after having already defaulted on previous loans issued to him by the credit union. These loans were obtained in the names Cleveland Comfort Corp; SND, Inc.; Balkan Contracting; GBRS Properties, LLC; and Balkan Enterprise, Inc. The indictment alleges that St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union lost approximately $2.2 million as a result of Vujovic’s fraudulent conduct.
The indictment also charges Vujovic with corruptly giving Anthony Raguz cash payments totaling approximately $20,000 to induce and reward Raguz for approving and facilitating the approval of the fraudulent loans to Vujovic.
The indictment further charges Vujovic with two counts of money laundering for withdrawing $100,000 and $48,000 with official checks from the Balkan Enterprise account at St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union and depositing those checks into an account at First Merit 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 Bridget M. Brennan and John D. Sammon, following an investigation by the Cleveland Offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.
An indictment 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.