Seven Indicted for Identification Fraud And Possession of Document-making Implements
Reno, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada and Grant Ashley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for Nevada, announced that a 17-count Indictment against Ion Datcu, Janice Curre, Daniela Murray, Liliana Furca, aka Lorena Furca, Gheorges Stefanis, aka Catalin Felipe or Filip, Luiza Ana Limona, aka Lucy Barreda, and Nor Dragu, charging Conspiracy, Identification Fraud, Possession of Document-Making Machinery, Unauthorized Use of Access Devices (credit cards), False Impersonation of a U.S. Citizen, and Criminal Forfeiture, was returned on March 5, 2002, by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas. The defendants were arrested in Las Vegas on February 17, 2002, pursuant to a criminal complaint and arrest warrant. At their initial court appearances, defendants Datcu, Furca, Stefanis, and Limona were all ordered detained on the basis that they were a risk of flight; defendants Curre and Murray were released on personal recognizance bonds; and defendant Dragu is at large. Arraignments for all defendants but Dragu have been set for March 15, 2002, at 8:30 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Leavitt.
According to the Indictment, the defendants stole credit cards belonging to others and used document-making equipment to produce counterfeit drivers licenses bearing the defendants' pictures but matching the names on the stolen credit cards. The defendants then used the counterfeit drivers licenses and stolen credit cards to obtain cash advances at various casinos in Las Vegas. The Indictment alleges that between January 25, 2002, and January 28, 2002, rooms were rented at the Ambassador Inn in Las Vegas under the names of defendants Lucy Barreda and Gheorges Barreda and between February 2, 2002, and February 4, 2002, rooms were rented at the Ambassador Inn in Las Vegas under the names of defendants Janice Curre and Liliana Ana Furca. The Indictment alleges that between February 4, 2002, and February 11, 2002, one or more of the defendants entered the Venetian Resort and Casino, Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, Stratosphere Casino, and Sahara Casino in Las Vegas, and used credit cards in other persons' names to obtain cash advances. The amount of the total loss is still being investigated. Defendant Luiza Ana Limona is also charged with falsely representing herself to be a U.S. citizen on February 13, 2002. Laptop computers, electronic signature machines, datacard machines, and a BMW 740iL automobile seized by the investigating agents, are alleged to have been used to commit the offenses and are the subject of the criminal forfeiture counts.
If convicted, the defendants are facing up to five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on the Conspiracy counts; three years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for the counts involving Fraud in Connection With Five or More Identification Documents; 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on the Possession of Document-Making Implement counts; 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on the Unauthorized use of Access Devices counts; and three years imprisonment and a $250,0000 fine on the False Impersonation of a U.S. Citizen count. In addition to any term of imprisonment or fine which could be ordered following a conviction, the court is required to order restitution to the victims. The actual sentence, however, will be dictated by the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and will be imposed at the discretion of the Court.
The case is being investigated by Special Agents of the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen Bliss.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.