Northeast Ohio man gets 25 years in federal prison for his role in collapse of credit union

A northeastern Ohio man has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for obtaining nearly $11 million in fraudulent loans that authorities say helped cause one of the biggest failures of a credit union in U.S. history.

Gezim Selgjekaj (guh-ZEEM sell-jek-KAY) was convicted in February of conspiracy, bank fraud, bribery and money laundering. The 44-year-old from Avon Lake was sentenced Tuesday.

Selgjekaj was accused of obtaining the loans from St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union in Eastlake between 2003 and 2010, including some while he served a federal prison sentence for tax evasion.

Authorities say most of the loans weren't repaid and contributed to the credit union's $170 million loss.

Selgjekaj's attorneys say their client received a disproportionate sentence compared with others involved in the institution's collapse.