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Press Release

Five Defendants Arrested for Engaging in Sophisticated ATM Skimming Schemes Involving Theft of Account Information and PIN Numbers from Unsuspecting Bank Customers

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendants Installed Skimming Devices and Cameras in ATMs to Steal Customer Information and then Used that Information to Withdraw Cash and Make Purchases

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, an indictment charging defendants with fraud and aggravated identity theft for various ATM skimming-related crimes perpetrated between May 2022 and February 2023, was partially unsealed.  To execute the fraud, the defendants allegedly installed devices and cameras on ATMs, capturing victim account information and personal identification numbers (PINs).  The defendants then transferred data obtained by those devices onto counterfeit debit cards, which the defendants used to make purchases and withdraw cash.  As a result, the defendants compromised over 600 victim accounts and stole thousands of dollars.  

Five defendants were arrested earlier this morning in New York, and are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. 

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI) and Patrick Freaney, Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), New York Field Office and Edward A. Caban, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD) announced the charges.

“As alleged, the defendants engaged in a sophisticated scheme by installing cameras and devices in ATM card slots to surreptitiously steal victim bank account information and use that stolen information to cash out for their own personal gain,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “The arrests today demonstrate that this Office will continue to investigate and prosecute fraudulent activity compromising victims’ financial safety and security.”

“The five defendants allegedly illegally obtained financial information using hidden devices implanted in ATMs to create counterfeit debit cards and steal thousands of dollars from over 600 unsuspecting victims. The defendants' concerted efforts to conceal this fraudulent activity allowed the scam to plague the community for almost a year, highlighting the pervasive nature of criminal financial schemes. The FBI will continue to aggressively investigate all methods of fraud to protect financial privacy,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith.

“The defendants allegedly targeted hundreds of victims, exploiting their trust in routine elements of our financial systems and stealing thousands from their hard-earned savings,” said Patrick J. Freaney, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s New York Field Office. “The success of this investigation is a testament to our strong partnerships with both federal and local law enforcement, and the U.S. Secret Service remains committed to pursuing justice for victims of financial crimes here in New York and across the country.” “Today’s indictment underscores the importance of investigators from multiple law enforcement agencies working together to protect the financial well-being of good, hardworking New Yorkers,” said NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban. “I commend our partners at the FBI, the Secret Service, and the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York for their dedication to our shared public safety mission.”

As set forth in the indictment and other filings, the defendants committed these crimes in two phases, installations and removals, and “cash-outs.”  In the first phase, the defendants installed deep-insert skimming devices in the ATMs, which are thin devices the defendants implanted in ATM card slots.  These sophisticated devices captured and stored data from debit cards used by unsuspecting victims who conducted transactions at the ATMs while the skimming device was implanted.  The defendants simultaneously installed hidden cameras to record victims inputting their PINs.  After recovering the cameras and skimming devices, the defendants used the data captured by the skimming devices to create counterfeit debit cards.  In the second phase, the defendants then used the counterfeit debit cards and the corresponding PINs, which were captured by the hidden cameras, to “cash out,” or make purchases and withdraw cash.  From these skimming and “cash out” crimes, the defendants appropriated account information from over 600 unsuspecting victims.

Users of ATMs are cautioned that advanced skimming devices and pinhole cameras installed on ATMs, like those used by the defendants, may be well disguised and undetected by the ATM user.  Law enforcement agents encourage ATM users to shield the ATM keypad when entering PINs and other user information to prevent their accounts from being compromised.

The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

Assistant United States Attorneys Irisa Chen and Raffaela Belizaire are in charge of the prosecution.  The investigation is being conducted by the FBI, USSS and NYPD.

The Defendants:

IOAN-ANTON GHERASIM, also known as “Ryan Anthony”
Age: 38
Queens, New York

Age: 34
Queens, New York

DAN ADRIAN AGAFITEI, also known as “Federico Cousa,” “Luciano Manzatti” and “Coval Tiago”
Age: 25
Queens, New York

BOBI BORCEA, also known as “Bobi Agafitei”
Age: 49
Queens, New York

RAZVAN VICOL, also known as “Razvan Neagu,” “Geoffrey Pasek” and “Ruben Robles de la Torre”
Age:  36
Queens, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 24-CR-78 (MKB)


John Marzulli
Danielle Blustein Hass
U.S. Attorney's Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated February 29, 2024

Indictment [PDF, ]
Financial Fraud