Criminal Justice News

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Eastlake Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison for Role in Credit Union Collapse, Ordered to Pay $3.2 Million in Restitution

Arben Alia, 35, of Eastlake, Ohio, was sentenced to nine year years in prison for his criminal activity related to the St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union (SPCFCU) collapse, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Alia was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $3.2 million to SPCFCU via the National Credit Union Administration. He was also ordered to forfeit his 2007 Mercedes-Benz and his interest in Milano’s Bar & Grille in Willowick, Ohio.

He fraudulently obtained several loans from SPCFCU, with the assistance of Anthony Raguz, its former chief operating officer, totaling approximately $4.5 million from 2006 through 2009, according to court documents.

Alia obtained these loans, in part, to fund various gambling excursions as well as to purchase and renovate Milano’s Bar & Grille, according to court documents.

Alia corruptly gave Raguz approximately $100,000 in exchange for Raguz approving and facilitating the issuance of fraudulent loans to himself and his friends and in-laws, who have also been charged.

In February 2011, he previously pleaded guilty to bank fraud, money laundering, and bank bribery charges.

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.

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