CITIZEN OF ROMANIA ADMITS ROLE IN ATM SKIMMING SCHEME
Deirdre M. Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that IONUT-IULIAN VLAD, 29, a citizen of Romania, pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis in New Haven to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud stemming from his role in an ATM “skimming” scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, VLAD and others conspired to install “skimming” devices on automated teller machines (“ATMs”) at Bank of America locations in Connecticut. The devices were able to capture the information encoded on the magnetic strips of bank cards used by ATM customers. The co-conspirators also placed devices on the ATMs that contained hidden pinhole cameras, which recorded the personal identification numbers that bank customers keyed into the ATMs to gain access to their accounts. The co-conspirators used the stolen information captured by the skimming devices and pinhole cameras to create counterfeit bank cards that allowed them to withdraw more than $100,000 in funds from the customers’ accounts.
In February 2013, surveillance video captured VLAD removing skimming devices and pinhole cameras from Bank of America ATMs in Wallingford and Greenwich.
VLAD has been detained since his arrest by the Stamford Police Department on March 2, 2013. At the time of his arrest, VLAD possessed ATM skimming tools and double-sided tape.
VLAD is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton on November 8, 2013, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, a fine of up to $1 million and an order of restitution.
This investigation is being conducted by the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, which includes members of the United States Secret Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Connecticut State Police, and the Greenwich, Hartford, Stamford, Shelton and Stratford Police Departments. Acting U.S. Attorney Daly specifically recognized the efforts of the Greenwich and Stamford Police Departments for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.
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