News and Press Releases

Romanian ATM Skimmer Sentenced

August 23, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A Romanian National has been sentenced in federal court to 20 months in prison to be followed by three years supervised release on his conviction of conspiring with another Romanian National to skim customer account information from PNC Bank ATM machines in Western Pennsylvania, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose imposed the sentence on Mihail Popa Serb, 29.

According to information presented to the court, between November 2009, and April 2010, Popa and his co-defendant, Alexandru Razvan Serb, installed electronic skimming equipment onto several ATM machines in order to intercept customer bank account information contained on the magnetic strip of debit and credit cards used at ATMs.  Losses from the skimming events totaled over $220,000 to PNC Bank.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Ambrose stated that identity theft and skimming were serious crimes, and that conspirators in the United States and elsewhere needed to be deterred from engaging in this sort of crime. Popa, who has been in federal custody since April, 2010, will be deported following incarceration for his sentence.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended agents from the United States Secret Service in the investigation leading to the conviction and sentencing of Popa.

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