Two Romanian nationals have been sentenced to more than two years in jail for their scheme to skim money from ATM machines in Greenwich and Stamford.
According to a statement from US Attorney David B. Fein, Marian Caraivan, 43, and Mustafa Timur, 34, both citizens of Romania, were sentenced Friday by US District Court Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to 33 months in jail for their involvement in an ATM “skimming” scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Caraivan, Timur and others conspired to install “skimming” devices on automated teller machines at three JP Morgan Chase Bank locations in Greenwich and Stamford. The devices were able to capture the information encoded on the magnetic strips of bank cards used by ATM customers.
The co-conspirators also placed devices on the ATMs that contained hidden pinhole cameras, which were positioned in such a way as to be able to record the personal identification numbers that bank customers keyed into the ATMs to gain access to their accounts. The suspects then used this stolen information to create counterfeit bank cards that allowed them to withdraw funds from the customers’ accounts.
Through this scheme, the defendants compromised approximately 100 customer accounts, causing losses of more than $75,000. The bank has reimbursed its customers for the losses they sustained.
Caraivan and Timur were arrested on Aug. 14, 2011, at a Chase Bank in Harrison, N.Y., where they also had installed a skimming device. They have been in custody since their arrests. On Aug. 24, 2012, Caraivan and Timur each pleaded guilty in Bridgeport federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Each also has pleaded guilty in New York state court to charges related to the Harrison skimming incident.
Caraivan and Timur were ordered to pay $75,774.19 in restitution. Both face deportation proceedings after their release from prison.
The investigation is being conducted by the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, which includes members of the United States Secret Service, including the White Plains Office; the United States Postal Inspection Service; the United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security; the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Connecticut State Police; the Harrison, N.Y. Police Department; Office of the Westchester County District Attorney (High Technology Crimes Bureau); U.S. Customs Inspection Service Fraud Detection and National Security (Hartford Office); and the Greenwich, Hartford, Stamford and Shelton Police Departments. JP Morgan Chase Bank is assisting the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.