Twelve Individuals Charged in ATM Skimming Conspiracy Targeting Bank of America, PNC Customers

The co-conspirators allegedly installed electronic equipment at ATMs at several banks across New Jersey

Twelve Individuals Charged in ATM Skimming Conspiracy Targeting Bank of America, PNC Customers
Image: NCCC
November 17, 2016

Twelve individuals have been charged with allegedly executing a scheme to defraud customers of Bank of America and PNC Bank through conduct known as "ATM skimming," according to complaints that were unsealed following the arrest of the majority of the defendants.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ), each of the 12 defendants is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

According to the USDOJ complaint, the co-conspirators in the case—led by Rusu—sought to defraud financial institutions and their customers by illegally obtaining customer account information, including account numbers and personal identification numbers.

Between March 2015 and July 2016, the co-conspirators allegedly installed electronic equipment at ATMs at several banks across New Jersey. The "skimming" equipment allegedly included pinhole cameras and electronic devices capable of recording bank customer information encoded on the magnetic stripe of credit and debit cards.

The USDOJ says that the co-conspirators allegedly transferred the stolen card data to counterfeit bank cards and subsequently used that data to withdraw cash from the compromised accounts using various means. For example, on one occasion in January 2016, one of the defendants used counterfeit ATM cards encoded with stolen bank account information at four different Bank of America locations on the same day.

The co-conspirators are alleged to have stolen at least $428,000 from Bank of America customers in New Jersey.

The 12 defendants in the case are: Bogdan Viorel Rusu of Howard Beach, New York; Marcel Peckham, aka Marcel Enescu Cismas of Little Neck, New York; Catalin Mihai Dragomir of Glendale, New York; Eduard Vasilica Ticu, also of Glendale; Stefan Dumitru of Astoria, New York; an unidentified defendant, known as Zoltan Nagy of Bayside, New York; Silvester Florentin Papp of Ridgewood, New York; Joel Abel Garcia of Bronx, New York; Gabriel Mares of College Point, New York; Florian Calin Crainic of Des Plaines, Illinois; Florin Mares of College Point, New York; and Vasilica Adrian Hanganub of Bayside, New York. All the defendants have been arrested, with the exception of Nagy, who currently remains at large.

Find out more about ATM skimming and how you can protect yourself.