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Press Release

Romanian National Indicted For Stealing Donation Checks From Numerous Florida Churches

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Ionut Vaduva (34, Orlando) with 11 counts of bank fraud and 2 counts of aggravated identity theft. If convicted, Vaduva faces up to 30 years in federal prison on each bank fraud count, a consecutive minimum mandatory penalty of 2 years’ imprisonment for each aggravated identity theft count, and payment of restitution to the victims he defrauded.

According to the indictment, Vaduva obtained donation checks made payable to various religious institutions by stealing them from mail receptacles at churches located throughout the Middle District of Florida and elsewhere. Vaduva then deposited the stolen checks, using ATM machines, into various bank accounts that he controlled. In total, Vaduva deposited more than $150,000 in stolen donation checks into his accounts.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, with the assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shannon Laurie.


Updated April 12, 2023

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft