States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|December 3, 2010||
Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force: ROMANIAN NATIONAL ADMITS PARTICIPATING IN MULTISTATE ATM “SKIMMING” SCHEME
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that MARIUS OLUSTEAN, also known as “Marius Casian” and “Marius Olosutean,” 36, a citizen of Romania, pleaded guilty yesterday, December 2, before United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft stemming from his participation in a multistate ATM “skimming” scheme.
According court documents and statements made in court, OLUSTEAN 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, OLUSTEAN admitted that, in September 2009, he and co-defendant Ion Preda installed a pin-capturing device on a People’s United Bank ATM in Madison, Connecticut, and then used cloned ATM cards and stolen PINs to withdraw cash from compromised accounts using another People’s United Bank ATM in Greenwich, Connecticut. Also, in June 2009, OLUSTEAN, Preda and others placed skimming devices and pinhole cameras at a Wachovia Bank ATM in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Other banks and account holders also were victimized during the scheme, which resulted in a combined loss to all of the victim banks of more than $200,000. OLUSTEAN has agreed to an order of restitution in the amount of $199,062.76.
OLUSTEAN and Preda have been detained since their arrests by the Indiana State Police on May 3, 2010. At that time, OLUSTEAN and Preda possessed $1,285 in cash, laptop computers, gift cards, tools, and Western Union receipts.
Judge Hall has scheduled sentencing for February 18, 2011, at which time OLUSTEAN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million for conspiring to commit bank fraud. OLUSTEAN also faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of two years, which must be imposed consecutively to any other sentence imposed, for aggravated identity theft.
Preda pleaded guilty to the same charges on October 18, 2010. He awaits sentencing.
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.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Department of Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods