2 plead guilty in Cleveland credit union fraud

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CLEVELAND (AP) -- The former chief executive officer of a failed credit union in northeast Ohio and an outside bookkeeper have pleaded guilty in an alleged $15 million fraud case.

The case involves Cleveland-based Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union, which the National Credit Union Administration and the state of Ohio took over in July and placed in receivership. It had about 1,150 members and assets of $24 million.

Federal prosecutors say 51-year-old Alex Spirikaitis (spihr-ih-KEYE'-tihs) pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to conspiracy.

A former outside bookkeeper, 44-year-old Vytas Apanavicius (VEE'-tahs ah-pan-ah-VIH'-shuhs) of Mentor, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

Both face sentencing May 8.

Spirikaitis' attorney said his client felt bad about what happened to the credit union and his family and wants to accept responsibility.

Apanavicius' attorney said his client accepted responsibility and is extremely apologetic.