States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|November 22, 2010||
Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force: ROMANIAN NATIONAL ADMITS ROLE IN MULTISTATE ATM “SKIMMING” SCHEME
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that DRAGOS OSANU, also known as “Lucian Dragos Osanu,” “The Boss,” “Antonio Venturini,” “Rosca Alexandru Osanu,” “Vasile Andrei” and “Osanu Aragos Lucian,” 30, a citizen of Romania, pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud stemming from his participation in a multistate ATM “skimming” scheme.
According court documents and statements made in court, OSANU 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.
In pleading guilty, OSANU admitted that, in June and July 2009, he and others placed skimming devices and pinhole cameras at a Wachovia Bank ATM and a PNC Bank ATM in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and stole money from compromised accounts at those banks. Also, in August 2009, OSANU and others attempted to obtain without authorization customer account information by way of skimming devices on ATMs at a Bank of America located on Third Avenue in New York, New York.
This scheme has resulted in a combined loss to the victim banks of more than $200,000 and OSANU admitted that banks lost more than $70,000 as a direct result of his participation in the conspiracy.
OSANU is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall on Judge Hall has scheduled sentencing for February 10, 2011, at which time OSANU faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million. OSANU also will be ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $46,389.63.
OSANU has been detained since his arrest on March 2, 2010, in Virginia. On that date, OSANU and co-defendant Nelut Ady Oana possessed approximately $26,145 in U.S. currency; five re-encoded gift cards containing stolen bank account information, laptop computers, Bluetooth devices, and tools.
Oana previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud stemming from this scheme. On October 7, 2010, Judge Hall sentenced him to 15 months of imprisonment.
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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