Convicted Ponzi Schemer and Alleged Conspirator Indicted for Multimillion-Dollar Fraud Scheme and Obstruction of Justice
TRENTON, N.J. – A Romanian national was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to steal bank account information from thousands of customers by installing secret card-reading devices and pinhole cameras on ATMs throughout New Jersey and elsewhere, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Lucian Burulea, 34, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan imposed the sentence this afternoon in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Burulea admitted he was part of an ATM skimming scheme that stole bank account information by installing hidden card-reading devices on ATMs throughout northern and central New Jersey. Burulea previously acknowledged that he and his conspirators created bank cards using the fraudulently obtained account information, which they used to unlawfully withdraw large amounts of cash from various ATMs. The scheme, which involved actual and attempted losses of more than $1.5 million dollars, affected over 1,000 bank customers.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Burulea to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $265,957 in restitution.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; detectives with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone; and detectives with the Woodbridge Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Robert Hubner, with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Barnes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office OCDETF/Narcotics Unit in Newark.