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Press Release

Romanian nationals unlawfully in United States charged in $1 million ATM skimming and cash-out scheme

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

ATLANTA – Ovidiu Nedelcu and Ovidiusz Dragos Cordas, both citizens of Romania, have been charged in a 32-count indictment with bank fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft offenses for their roles in a nationwide conspiracy.   

“The defendants are accused of making their living by stealing from Americans’ bank accounts,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “They allegedly installed ATM skimming devices to steal customer data, and then used their network of conspirators to cash-out and profit from their crimes.”

“This investigation and subsequent indictment demonstrates the Secret Service’s commitment to safeguarding our nation’s critical financial infrastructure and payment systems,” said Kimberly A. Cheatle, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office.  “These cyber criminals used a national network of co-conspirators to withdraw large sums of money from ATM machines.  Our success in this case is due to the level of cooperation and information sharing throughout this investigation by all law enforcement partners.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court:  From 2018 to 2019, the defendants, Ovidiu Nedelcu and Ovidiusz Dragos Cordas, a/k/a Dragos Ovidiusz Folea, conspired with one another and others to use account numbers and PINs stolen from bank and credit union customers in order to unlawfully withdraw money from those customer accounts.  They accomplished this by conspiring with each other and others to:

  • Cause surreptitious electronic devices, known as ATM “skimmers,” to be installed over ATM card slots at various locations in order to capture and record account access information from customers of numerous financial institutions;
  • Cause tiny surreptitious cameras to be installed above the keypads of the ATMs with the ATM skimmers in order to visually record the key strokes as customers entered their PINs for their accounts;
  • Cause stolen customer account access information recorded on the ATM skimmers to be encoded onto blank magnetic stripes on unbranded plastic cards; and
  • Cause the stolen account access information—customer account numbers and PINs—to be used to unlawfully withdraw United States currency from those compromised financial institution accounts at ATMs in Georgia, and elsewhere, including Florida, Colorado, and Washington.

Ovidiu Nedelcu, 41, of Craiova, Romania, and Ovidiusz Dragos Cordas, a/k/a Dragos Ovidiusz Folea, 50, of Oradea, Romania, were indicted by a federal grand jury on September 18, 2019.  Both defendants are present in the United States illegally. 

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, with assistance from the DeKalb County Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys John S. Ghose and Alex R. Sistla are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated October 10, 2019

Financial Fraud