Three Romanians Sentenced in St. Louis for Nationwide Fraud
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri
ST. LOUIS – Three Romanian citizens have been sentenced in St. Louis for running a “short-change fraud” in stores across the country.
U.S. District Judge Sarah E. Pitlyk on Monday sentenced Daniel Rostas, 30, to 15 months in prison and Loredana Angel, 35, to 10 months in prison. On May 31, Judge Pitlyk sentenced Legenda Rostas, 28, to two years in prison and ordered her to repay $224,666. Restitution amounts for Angel and Daniel Rostas have not yet been determined.
All three pleaded guilty earlier this year to felony charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and illegal reentry of an alien. All admitted engaging in sleight of hand to defraud Target stores for years while buying Visa gift cards. When purchasing the cards, they would display the full purchase price in cash, then fold over a portion and keep it while handing the rest of the money to store employees. They targeted younger or less experienced employees and wired the money they made to relatives in Romania.
Legenda Rostas was involved in $224,666 in fraud since 2017, her plea agreement says, with Angel admitting about $83,865 in fraud. Records show Daniel Rostas wired about $62,534 to Romania and elsewhere.
“Fraud is often mistaken for a victimless crime,” said acting Special Agent in Charge of the HSI Kansas City Area of Operations Taekuk Cho. “But when individuals commit these types of crimes, whether it be through heightened prices to recoup lost funds, employee layoffs, or a multitude of other possible losses to the economy, these criminals are most certainly victimizing consumers and businesses.”
Loredana Angel and Legenda Rostas told authorities that they are sisters and that the Rostas are married.
All three also admitted entering the country illegally after being removed from the United States before. Daniel Rostas has been removed twice.
The case was investigated by the Arnold Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations.
Updated August 7, 2023