Concord Man Sentenced to more than Three Years in Prison for Defrauding Credit Union
A Concord Township man was sentenced to more than three years in prison for defrauding Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union out of $2.3 million, law enforcement officials said.
John Struna, 52, was sentenced to 43 months in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $2.3 million in restitution. He pleaded guilty to seven counts -- one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, one count of bank fraud, one count of making false statements and four counts of money laundering.
Struna has forfeited a restaurant he owned – the Sunny Street Café in Concord Township – a condominium in Florida and a 2014 Mazda because they were purchased with proceeds of the fraud, according to court documents.
The guilty plea was announced by Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland office, and Kathy Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.
The National Credit Union Administration and the Ohio Department of Commerce took possession of Taupa last year and placed it into receivership due to its insolvency. Taupa, based in Cleveland, had about 1,150 members and assets of approximately $24 million, according to court records.
Credit union CEO Alex Spirikaitis, former teller Michael Ruksenas and Vytas Apanavicius have previously been found guilty for their roles in conspiracies related to defrauding the credit union.
Struna maintained both personal and corporate accounts at Taupa dating back to 1995. He began a conspiracy with Spirikaitis in 2002 and continued through 2013, during which time Spirikaitis caused Taupa to make approximately 46 fraudulent transfers into Struna’s accounts, according to court documents.
In 2011, Struna requested and received $112,105 from Spirikaitis for the purchase of a condominium located in Ft. Myers, Florida. At no time did Struna submit any credit applications or loan documents, according to court documents.
The fraudulent transfers totaled approximately $2.3 million. From 2002 through 2013, Struna repaid only approximately $15,000 of the $2.3 million Spirikaitis transferred into his accounts, according to court documents.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Patton and Special Assistant United States Attorney Derek Kleinmann. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.