The biggest credit union fraud ever
U.S. authorities are working through legal channels for the return of millions of dollars of loan proceeds from St. Paul Croatian FCU they believe was siphoned from the one-time $240 million credit union to local banks as part of the biggest credit union fraud ever. The U.S. Department of Justice is working with NCUA and numerous international law enforcement agencies, including Interpol, for the repatriation of the U.S. credit union funds as the scope of the international criminal case expanded with seven more individuals indicted on Friday, making a total of 16 charged in the case. So far, authorities have traced almost $6 million in fraudulent loan proceeds transferred to Macedonian and Albanian bank accounts by Koljo Kikolovski, a purported head of a Macedonia crime syndicate who is in federal prison in Cleveland awaiting trial in the case. Nikolovski, an Albania national who maintains homes in Skopje and in the Cleveland suburb of Eastlake where the credit union was based is among those charged with bribing the CEO of St. Paul Croatian to obtain millions of dollars in loans they had no intention of repaying. A federal court last month ordered the Kapital Bank in Skopje to return $2.3 million of funds Nikolovski wired there that were purportedly proceeds from credit union loans.