States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|October 8, 2010||
Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force: ROMANIAN NATIONAL SENTENCED TO 15 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR ROLE IN MULTISTATE ATM “SKIMMING” SCHEME
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that NELUT ADY OANA, 33, a citizen of Romania, was sentenced yesterday, October 7, by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to 15 months of imprisonment for participating in a multistate ATM “skimming” scheme.
According court documents and statements made in court, OANA and others conspired to install “skimming” devices on automated teller machines (“ATMs”), and on card swipe access devices used by banks to control access to ATM lobby doors, in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. The devices were able to capture the information encoded on the magnetic strips of bank cards used by ATM customers. They 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 keyed into the ATMs to gain access to their accounts. The group then used this stolen information to create counterfeit bank cards that allowed them to withdraw funds from the customers’ accounts.
The investigation revealed that OANA was personally involved in three skimming incidents at Bank of America ATMs in New York, New York and Fort Lee, New Jersey, causing a loss of $16,073 to the Bank. OANA has been ordered to pay full restitution to Bank of America.
OANA has been detained since his arrest on March 2, 2010, in Virginia. On that date, OANA and a co-defendant possessed approximately $26,145 in U.S. currency; five re-encoded gift cards containing stolen bank account information, laptop computers, Bluetooth devices, and tools.
On July 22, 2010, OANA pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
OANA faces deportation proceedings after his release from prison.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, notably the United States Secret Service and the Greenwich Police Department. The Task Force also includes members of the United States Postal Inspection Service; the United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security; the Connecticut State Police; and the Glastonbury, Hartford, Manchester, New Haven and Shelton Police Departments. U.S. Attorney Fein specifically recognized the efforts of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Virginia State Police and the Indiana State Police for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan L. Wines.
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