Mecedonian Criminal Gang Leader Charged In Failure Of Cleveland’s Croatian CU

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CLEVELAND – A federal grand jury this afternoon charged the leader of a criminal gang in Macedonia with siphoning $2.5 million from St. Paul Croatian FCU, the one-time $240 million Cleveland credit union that failed last year amid one of the biggest losses ever for a natural person credit union.

Koljo Nikolovski, who lives in Madecdonia but claims a home in the Cleveland suburb of Eastlake where St. Paul Croatian was based, was charged with bank fraud and money laundering for defaulting on $2.5 million of loans that he wired from the credit union to a bank in Skopje, Macedonia. Nikolovski and his accomplices are believed to be responsible for losses of as much as $4 million for the credit union.

Nikolovski and his American colleagues are believed to lead one of two major gangs that control criminal activity in the Macedonian capital.

Authorities said yesterday they expect more individuals to be charged in the failure of the credit union.

St. Paul Croatian was taken over, then liquidated by NCUA in May, causing a loss of an estimated $170 million to the National CU Share Insurance Fund, one of the biggest losses ever.

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