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Press Release

Romanian Man Sentenced to Prison for Bank Fraud and Identity Theft Violations Involving Use of Skimming Devices at Local ATMs

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Bacau, Romania, has been sentenced in federal court to four years of imprisonment on his conviction of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

United States District Judge Robert J. Colville imposed the sentence on Ciprian Costel Borcea, 46.

According to information presented to the Court, a local financial institution discovered that it was targeted through a skimming device scheme that caused losses of more than $450,000 and the theft of account information related to more than 700 customers. A skimming device is one that fraudsters place over automated teller machines (ATMs) that captures the information from the magnetic strips of ATM cards. Those devices are then used in conjunction with pin hole cameras that capture customers’ personal identification numbers to create fraudulent ATM cards and then withdraw money from the customers’ bank accounts.

The investigation revealed that the skimming devices and cameras were placed on area ATMs in March and April 2023. Borcea was captured on surveillance video installing the skimming devices and cameras, retrieving the devices, and using the counterfeit ATM cards to withdraw money from customer accounts.

In early May 2023, Borcea installed a skimming device on an ATM located in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. The Cleveland Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service set up surveillance of the ATM machine and observed Borcea approaching the machine. Borcea was taken into custody, and a search of his vehicle revealed a skimming device, counterfeit ATM cards, and other evidence tying him to the ATM skimming device fraud in the Pittsburgh area.

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

United States Attorney Olshan commended the United States Secret Service for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Borcea.

Updated May 8, 2024