Koljo Nikolovski, 48, Skopje, Macedonia, and Eastlake, Ohio, was indicted by a federal grand jury charging him with two counts of bank fraud and one count of money laundering.
In July and August 2009, Nikolovski fraudulently obtained several loans totaling $2.5 million from St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union, according to the indictment. He obtained most of these loans by falsely listing the names of other persons as the applicants and intended recipients of those loans. The indictment also charges that Nikolovski was not eligible to receive any loans from the credit union at that time because he had already defaulted on more than $1 million he previously received. In addition to that amount of more than $1 million, St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union lost approximately $2.5 million as a result of Nikolovski‘s fraudulent conduct, according to the indictment.
The indictment also charges Nikolovski with a money laundering transaction for wire transferring $2.3 million of the loan proceeds on August 17, 2009, from his Dollar Bank account in Eastlake, Ohio, to a bank in Skopje, Macedonia.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced the indictment
“The collapse of the St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union was a tremendous hardship in this community and requires a thorough investigation,” Dettelbach said. “Today’s charges demonstrate that we intend to get to the bottom of any criminal wrongdoing that may have contributed to the failure of this financial institution, no matter where the evidence leads.”
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John D. Sammon and Bridget M. Brennan, following an investigation by the Cleveland offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, with the assistance of the Eastlake Police Department.
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.