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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Spirikaitis Home Found Empty; Former CEO Wanted by Authorities in Cleveland

Alex Spirikaitis, former CEO of the liquidated Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union, is on the lam.

Local Cleveland news outlets are now reporting that a police standoff overnight at Spirikaitis’ home was in vain, because the FBI discovered the home was empty.

 FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer it's unclear if Spirikaitis, who has a warrant for his arrest for fraud that led to the $23 million credit union’s failure, was ever home.

The standoff began after police attempted to arrest Spirikaitis on Tuesday night. Anderson said a person at the home told police he was there but would not surrender.

Authorities are now searching for Spirikaitis and a reward is being offered for information that will help lead to his arrest.

"We will continue the investigation and hope he decides to turn himself in and make it a lot easier on everyone," Anderson told the Plain Dealer.

The Ohio Department of Financial Institutions made the decision to liquidate the credit union after determining it was insolvent and had no prospect for restoring viable operations.

The DFI named the NCUA liquidating agent and federal officials seized the credit union Friday.

Fraud was suspected after a review of the 1,154-member credit union’s financial performance reports showed a seemingly healthy credit union with 10.31% net worth, 0.78% delinquencies and no charge offs as of March 31.

However, cost of funds was reported to be 0.87%, much higher than the peer average of 0.36%.

The failed credit union’s website revealed it was not paying above average dividends to members, and liquidity was not an issue, indicating the credit union did not have outstanding borrowings that were driving up cost of funds.

The Cleveland-based credit union reported a considerable amount of cash on its books, more than $15 million as of March 31, with just $729,595 in investments. Total loans were $7.4 million during that period.

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