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Press Release

Romanian Man Pleads Guilty To His Role In Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.-Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Giovani Hornea, 20, of Romania, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti, who is handling the case, stated that between October 4, 2015, and November 14, 2015, the defendant conspired with co-defendant Nicolae Sarbu and others to execute a scheme to defraud Bank of America.

The defendants used skimming devices and cameras on seven occasions at automated teller machines (ATM’s) in the Buffalo and Rochester areas as well as in the State of Pennsylvania. Bank account information and personal identification numbers (PIN’s) were recorded without the true account holder’s knowledge or authorization and then used to make unauthorized withdrawals of cash from the various ATM’s. A skimmer is a device used to unlawfully record bank account information from a customer’s debit card when the card is inserted into an ATM.

Nicolae Sarbu has been convicted and is awaiting sentencing. 

The total loss suffered by Bank of America as a result of this fraudulent activity was $156,266.30. 

The plea is the result of an investigation by immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland security investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.  

Sentencing is scheduled for December 20, 2017, before Judge Arcara.

Updated September 8, 2017