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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 13, 2018

Romanian ATM Skimmer Arrested In Troy, NC, Sentenced To Four Years In Prison

Defendant Entered the U.S. on an H1B Non-immigrant Visa

GREENSBORO – A Romanian man arrested in July 2017 after using counterfeit bank cards to withdraw cash at an ATM in Troy, N.C., was sentenced to 48 months in prison for aggravated identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin for the Middle District of North Carolina.

According to documents filed with the court, North Carolina State Employees Credit Union security personnel notified the U.S. Secret Service of possible ATM skimming fraud in progress on July 18, 2017, and the Troy Police Department arrested Valeri GORNET in a vehicle near the ATM. NCSECU security personnel had seen GORNET on ATM surveillance cameras engaged in similar activity thirty minutes earlier in Mount Gilead, N.C. GORNET presented police with an identification card in the name of Geani Vales of Lithuania, but fingerprint identification later showed his true identity to be Valeri GORNET, age 28, a Romanian national admitted to the U.S. on July 23, 2016, on an H1B non-immigrant visa not to exceed a stay beyond October 10, 2016. Further investigation showed that GORNET had also used cards re-encoded with the bank account information of other people to withdraw cash from ATM’s in Jamestown and Sanford, North Carolina.

United States District Judge William L. Osteen, Jr., sentenced GORNET yesterday, April 12, 2018, to two consecutive 24-month terms of imprisonment two violations of aggravated identity theft, 18 U.S.C. § 1028A. In addition to the prison term imposed, GORNET was ordered to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $5,000 in restitution to NCSECU.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service with assistance from the Troy Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anand Ramaswamy, Cybercrime Prosecutor for the Middle District of North Carolina.

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Updated April 16, 2018