Two Romanians Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison for Role in ATM Skimming Scheme

Two Romanians sentenced to prison in the US

Two Romanian nationals living in Queens, New York, have each been sentenced to 57 months in prison for their roles in an ATM skimming scheme.

According to authorities, 30-year-old Ioan Leusca (a.k.a. Ionel Spinu) and 29-year-old Dezso Gyapias (a.k.a. Valentin Folea) pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. They’ve been in custody since their arrests in January 2013.

The Romanians and their accomplices installed payment card skimming devices and pinhole cameras at various ATMs in New Jersey and Connecticut. They used the stolen information to clone the cards.

They utilized these cards to withdraw $985,000 (€718,506) from Citibank ATMs New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Their actions are said to be part of a bigger skimming scheme that cost financial institutions a total of $5 million (€3.64 million).

Eight other Romanians have been charged for their role in this scheme. Seven of them are in custody. US authorities don’t know the name of the suspect that’s still at large. They only know him by his nickname, “Chioru,” which in Romanian means “one-eyed.”


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