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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cleveland Man Sentenced To Three Years In Prison For Crimes Related To Credit-Union Collapse

Zrino Jukic was sentenced to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $1.7 million in restitution for crimes related to the collapse of the St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union.

Jukic, 42, of Cleveland, previously pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of money laundering.

Jukic was a co-owner of the Zlato Group, along with Anthony Raguz, who also served as the credit union’s chief operating officer. Jukic engaged in a scheme to defraud the credit union by providing false information in connection with approximately 11 loan applications. The proceeds of these fraudulent loans were used to allow Jukic and Raguz -- through their company, the Zlato Group -- to invest in certain business ventures, according to court documents. 

Jukic also engaged in a money laundering transaction by transferring fraudulently obtained funds from a Zlato Group bank account to his own bank account, according to court documents.

St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union (SPCFCU) was placed into conservatorship in April 2010, when it served 5,400 members and was believed to have assets of more than $238 million. The National Credit Union Association discontinued operation of SPCFCU when it was determined to be insolvent, making it the largest credit-union failure in American history.

To date, 24 people have been indicted for criminal activity related to the credit union. Raguz was sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered to repay $72.5 million last year. Koljo Nikolovski was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in the credit-union collapse.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bridget M. Brennan and Jack Sammon following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

Updated March 12, 2015