Four members of a scheme that used secret card-reading devices and pinhole cameras on PNC and Bank of America ATMs to steal at least $428,581 pleaded guilty today in Newark federal court.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick of the District of New Jersey; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Brian A. Michael of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Newark Division made the announcement.
Marcel Peckham, 43, of Little Neck, New York; Catalin Mihai Dragomir, 33, of Glendale, New York; Eduard Vasilica Ticu, 32, of Glendale; and Silvester Florentin Papp, 25, of Ridgewood, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to separate informations charging them each with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Peckham, Dragomir, Ticu, Papp, and others sought to defraud financial institutions and their customers by illegally obtaining customer account information, including account numbers and personal identification numbers. Peckham admitted providing counterfeit ATM cards to other conspirators, knowing that they were going to use them to withdraw cash from compromised bank accounts at ATMs in New Jersey. Dragomir, Ticu, and Papp each admitted that between March 2015 and July 2016, they made unauthorized cash withdrawals using the counterfeit ATM cards.
The conspiracy to commit bank fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing for all four defendents is set for Oct. 23, 2017.
Joel Abel Garcia, Victor A. Hanganu, and Radu Bogdan Marin also pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and await sentencing. To date, seven of the 13 defendants charged in this matter have been convicted.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation’s Newark, New Jersey, Division; U.S. Secret Service’s Boston Field Office; Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Police Department; Cambridge, Massachusetts, Police Department; and Medford, Massachusetts, Police Department investigated the case with assistance from Bank of America Security and Fraud Section and PNC Bank Security Division. The Middlesex County, Massachusetts, District Attorney’s Office; U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York and U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Massachusetts Springfield Division assisted in the investigation and prosecution.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Graves of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark and Trial Attorney Marianne Shelvey of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Organized Crime and Gang Section.