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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Romanian Man Facing Fraud Charges for ATM Skimmer Scheme

PITTSBURGH –A Texas resident has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The three-count indictment named Nicu Sorin Pantelica, age 28, of Houston, Texas.

According to the indictment, Pantelica, a native of Romania, participated in a conspiracy in which he and his conspirators placed skimming devices, along with pinhole cameras, on several automated teller machines throughout the Pittsburgh area. The skimming devices collect the account information contained on the magnetic strips on automated teller machines cards. The pinhole cameras collect personal identification numbers used by customers using the automated teller machines. Pantelica and his conspirators manufactured cloned automated teller machine cards and used those cloned cards and the personal identification numbers to access and withdraw funds from accounts.

The law provides for a minimum sentence of two years in prison and a maximum total sentence of 62 years in prison, a fine of $2,250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Secret Service, with the assistance of the South Strabane Police Department, conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Updated February 21, 2018