States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|March 10, 2010||
Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force: ROMANIAN NATIONAL WHO PARTICIPATED IN ATM “SKIMMING” SCHEME SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that VICTOR VASILE CONSTANTIN, 23, a citizen of Romania, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven to 48 months of imprisonment for his role in an ATM “skimming” scheme. On November 16, 2009, CONSTANTIN pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents and statements made in court, CONSTANTIN and others participated in a scheme whereby they secretly installed “skimming” devices on automated teller machines (“ATMs”) at various Bank of America branches in Fairfield County. These devices were able to capture the information encoded on the magnetic strips of bank debit cards used by ATM customers. CONSTANTIN and his co-conspirators also placed devices on the ATMs that contained hidden pinhole cameras, which were positioned in such a way as to be able to record the personal identification numbers that bank customers punched into the ATMs to gain access to their accounts. CONSTANTIN and his co-conspirators then used this stolen information to create counterfeit bank cards that allowed them to withdraw funds from the customers’ accounts.
CONSTANTIN’s involvement in this scheme resulted in approximately $150,000 in losses to Bank of America.
Today, Judge Kravitz ordered CONSTANTIN to serve 24 months on the bank fraud conviction and a mandatory two-year consecutive sentence for aggravated identity theft.
CONSTANTIN has been detained since his arrest by the Norwalk Police Department and the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force on March 26, 2009.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, notably the United States Secret Service. The Task Force also includes members from the United States Postal Inspection Service; the United States Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service; the Connecticut State Police; and the Greenwich, Hartford, Manchester, New Haven and Shelton Police Departments.
U.S. Attorney Dannehy specifically recognized the efforts of the Norwalk, Greenwich and Ridgefield Police departments, and the State’s Attorney’s Offices for the Judicial Districts of Danbury and Stamford/Norwalk, for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Murphy.
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