Romanian National Sentenced to Federal Prison for ATM Skimming Conspiracy
United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced that U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles sentenced ALEXANDRU-NICUSOR NITA, age 38, a Romanian national residing in New Orleans, Louisiana, to 24 months in federal prison following his conviction of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The Court also ordered restitution of $149,802.
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, NITA and a co-conspirator conspired with others to commit bank fraud. NITA installed ATM skimming devices on ATM machines at several financial institutions around the Baton Rouge area, among other locations in Louisiana. These ATM skimming devices captured the financial information of hundreds of customers using the ATM machines. The stolen bank account information was subsequently encoded onto blank debit cards and gift cards.
NITA also installed overhead cameras on these ATM machines to capture the personal identification numbers (“PIN”) of the customers. The debit cards and gift cards were used by others, in combination with the corresponding PIN access codes, to make unauthorized withdrawals from the victims’ bank accounts, including at financial institutions in the Baton Rouge area.
U.S. Attorney Fremin stated, “The theft of personal financial information is a serious problem which threatens our citizens’ security. Our office will prosecute these matters vigorously to protect innocent victims from this terrible crime. The efforts of our prosecutors, along with federal and local law enforcement, were invaluable in bringing these foreign nationals to justice.”
Tara McLeese, Resident Agent in Charge of the Secret Service Office in Baton Rouge stated, “This case was investigated by members of the United States Secret Service Financial Crimes Task Force.”
This matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, the U.S. Secret Service, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, Financial Crimes Unit, Gonzales Police Department, and St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brad Casey.
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