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Press Release

Romanian Man Extradited to Puerto Rico to Face Charges for Aggravated Identity Theft and Bank Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A citizen from the country of Romania was extradited from the United Kingdom to Puerto Rico to face charges of identity theft and fraud. On September 21, 2023, a federal grand jury returned a 12-count indictment charging Vlad Terebes with conspiracy to commit identity theft; aggravated identity theft; conspiracy to commit access device trafficking in a counterfeit access device; trafficking in device-making equipment; and bank fraud. Terebes was extradited on Friday, May 31, 2024.

According to court documents, defendant Vlad Terebes and other co-conspirators acquired and then installed access device skimming equipment in the form of a card reader used to obtain information from credit and debit card transactions at several large retail stores in Manatí, Canóvanas, Caguas, and Carolina, Puerto Rico.

From on or about March 8, 2022, to on or about March 13, 2022, defendant Vlad Terebes and other co-conspirators obtained credit and debit card numbers, names, and personal identifying information of approximately 1,215 customers from the large retail stores in Manatí, Caguas, Canóvanas, and Carolina, and attempted to obtain approximately $20,421 in funds from the unsuspecting customers’ bank accounts held by a financial institution in Puerto Rico. As a result of the investigation conducted by the United States Secret Service, Terebes was identified and ultimately apprehended in the United Kingdom on February 2, 2024 at the request of the United States.

“Financial fraud is one of the largest challenges facing American citizens and businesses today. Prevention and prosecution of crimes of this nature will remain a top priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and we will not be deterred by individuals who attempt to flee from prosecution. In coordination with the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs, we remain committed to the arrest and extradition of those who commit crimes in Puerto Rico,” said W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

The defendant made his initial court appearance yesterday, June 3, 2024, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marcos E. López for the District of Puerto Rico and was ordered detained. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a mandatory consecutive sentence of at least two years for each aggravated identity theft charge. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in securing the arrest and extradition of Terebes from the United Kingdom. The United States also thanks United Kingdom law enforcement authorities for their valuable assistance in securing Terebes’ extradition. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Christine Amy is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Updated June 4, 2024

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Press Release Number: 2024-039