Charles Juska will begin a three-year prison term soon for defrauding the Tazewell County teachers’ credit union he ran out of thousands of dollars through shoddy loan practices.
His judge will decide in June whether Juska will spend possibly the rest of his life paying for his crimes through restitution.
“The chances are slim to none,” his attorney said in court Tuesday, that the former president of the credit union that serves about 3,000 teachers and family members will be able to repay $545,000 in losses that the business’s insurance company covered.
Juska, 54, of Pekin, should instead be held liable only for the $66,400 in losses connected to crimes for which he was convicted, and $50,000 more for costs related to his prosecution, said attorney Joel Brown.
Federal prosecutors did not reveal what they will seek in the brief hearing before U.S. District Judge James Shadid in Peoria. Brown, however, noted that a pre-sentence report recommended more than $1 million in total restitution.
Even half of that would be impossible for Juska, whose wife teaches while he works as a teacher’s aide and sells hot dogs at a ball park, Brown said.
He also noted that Juska made no profit from his loan practices, while the credit union’s board of directors did not act on suspicions they harbored for at least two years.
Shadid sentenced Juska last December to about half of the minimum prison term recommended in federal sentence guidelines after a jury convicted him of 11 counts of bank fraud, misapplication of credit union funds and false entry to credit union records.
Over the last five of his 17 years as president of the Tazewell County School Employees Credit Union, he fraudulently issued and extended dozens of loans and covered customers’ defaults by opening loans in other customers’ names without their knowledge.
The board dismissed him in 2010 after a state audit revealed his actions. He was indicted four years later.
Shadid has allowed Juska to remain free since December, in part to help in the defense of his restitution findings. He’s due to begin his prison term, of which he must serve at least 85 percent, on May 2.
Shadid is expected to issue a ruling on how much in restitution Juska will owe after written arguments are filed by June 13.
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