News and Press Releases

Texan And Romanian National Indicted For Identity Theft And Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2011

BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted a Texas man and a Romanian national for identity theft and fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Roy Sexton and U.S. Postal Inspection Service Domicile Coordinator/Inspector Frank Dyer.

HOREA DARIAN ENCIU, 29, of Houston, faces four counts related to debit-card fraud, 17 counts of bank fraud, and eight counts of aggravated identity theft. IUSTINIAN IACOB, a Romanian citizen, faces the same charges.

“Combating identity theft is a priority of the Justice Department. People unwittingly become victims, and their lives and finances can be ruined by the crime,” Vance said. “My office will continue to vigorously prosecute these types of cases.”

The indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges that, for three days in January 2011, Enciu and Iacob used concealed devices attached to an ATM to secretly obtain debit card and PIN numbers of people using the ATM. The indictment further charges that the men then used this information to create more than 50 counterfeit ATM cards that they used to withdraw over $30,000 from Regions Bank customers over a two-day period.

Upon conviction, each man faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for three of the debit-card fraud charges and a maximum of 15 years in prison for the fourth charge. For each of those counts, each man also faces a potential $250,000 fine. For each bank fraud count, Enciu and Iacob each face a maximum of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million upon conviction. For each count of aggravated identity theft, each man faces a fine of up to $250,000 and a mandatory two-year prison sentence.

This case was investigated by Corporate Security Officers from Regions Bank, the U.S. Secret Service, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa K. Atwood is prosecuting the case.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

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