TWO ROMANIAN CITIZENS
CHARGED IN ATM “SKIMMING” SCHEME
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that MARIAN CARAIVAN, 42, and MUSTAFA TIMUR, 34, both citizens of Romania, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in New Haven on bank fraud, conspiracy and identity theft charges stemming from an alleged ATM skimming scheme.
The indictment was returned on March 19, 2012. The defendants, who have been in New York state custody since their arrests on August 14, 2011, appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Garfinkel in Bridgeport and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The indictment alleges that CARAIVAN, TIMUR and others conspired to install “skimming” devices on automated teller machines (“ATMs”) at three JP Morgan Chase Bank locations in Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut. The devices were able to capture the information encoded on the magnetic strips of bank cards used by ATM customers. The alleged 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 keyed into the ATMs to gain access to their accounts. The co-conspirators then used this stolen information to create counterfeit bank cards that allowed them to withdraw funds from the customers’ accounts.
Through this scheme, it is alleged that the defendants compromised approximately 100 customer accounts, causing losses of approximately $72,000. The bank has reimbursed its customers for the losses they sustained.
CARAIVAN and TIMUR are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and three counts of bank fraud. Each of these charges carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years. The defendants are also charged with three counts of aggravated identity theft, an offense that carries a mandatory two-year imprisonment term, consecutive to any other imposed term of imprisonment.
This investigation is being conducted by the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, which includes members of the United States Secret Service, including the White Plains Office; the United States Postal Inspection Service; the United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security; the Connecticut State Police; the Harrison, NY Police Department; Office of the Westchester County District Attorney (High Technology Crimes Bureau); US Customs Inspection Service Fraud Detection and National Security (Hartford Office); and the Stamford, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hartford, New Haven and Shelton Police Departments. JP Morgan Chase Bank is assisting the investigation.
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