March 24, 2015

Lyndhurst Man Indicted for Defrauding Now-Defunct Credit Union of $436,000

A Lyndhurst man was indicted for defrauding a now-defunct credit union out of more than $436,000, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Andrew Belzinskas, 45, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of bank fraud.

Belzinskas worked full time at Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union in various capacities from 1991 through 2004, and continued to work there part time as a loan officer for Taupa. At no time did he earn more than $50,000 per year. He also maintained personal accounts at the credit union, according to the indictment.

From 2007 through July 2013, Belzinskas conspired with others, including Alex Spirikaitis, to defraud the credit union. Belzinskas withdrew approximately $436,026 from his personal accounts during this time for which there were insufficient funds. Belzinskas did not follow established procedures for overdrafts and Spirikaitis made multiple transfers to cover the overdrafts, according to the indictment.

The credit union was placed into receivership on July 12, 2013, due to insolvency. It has approximately 1,150 members and $24 million in assets at the time, according to the indictment.

Spirikaitis is currently serving more than 10 years in federal prison. An additional five people have been convicted of crimes related to the collapse of the credit union.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Kleinmann and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Flannery following an investigation by the FBI.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after a review of the federal sentencing guidelines and factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.

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.