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Press Release

Two Romanian Men Sentenced to Federal Prison For Stealing Bank Card Numbers

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

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Ion Halmac, 35, and Marian Vasilache, 45, both of Romania, were sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal bank card numbers, possession of bank card skimming equipment, and possession of bank card numbers. The sentences were announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

“These cases demonstrate the success of cooperative investigations by federal and local agencies working to identify and arrest those attempting to profit from fraud and theft,’” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “The protection of our citizens’ financial information is paramount, and with the help of our law enforcement partners, we will hold criminals accountable, no matter their national origin.”

On April 17, 2023, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped Halmac and Vasilache for speeding as they were traveling on I-10. Both individuals provided false identification, and once properly identified, investigators learned that they were both in the country illegally. A search of their vehicle revealed card skimming equipment, blank cards, and a laptop computer with over 3,000 bank card numbers.  Investigators later searched a storage facility in New Orleans belonging to the defendants and found additional skimming equipment.

“Crimes that threaten the identities, financial security, and future of American citizens will not be tolerated,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tallahassee Nicholas Ingegno. “Alongside our state and local partners, HSI will investigate criminals who steal the identities of U.S. citizens and lurk in the shadows of the internet to pick the digital pockets of unsuspecting victims.”

Each defendant was ordered to serve a term of 1-year supervised release following their prison sentence, which will likely be negated due to their immediate deportation proceedings.

This case resulted from a joint investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Walter Narramore prosecuted the case.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit


United States Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida
(850) 216-3845
X: @NDFLnews

Updated June 26, 2024