Guilty plea in ATM skimming case

A 29-year-old Romanian man has plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, stemming from his role in an ATM skimming scheme in Greenwich and around the state.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Ionut-Iulian Vlad and others conspired to install skimming devices on ATMs at Bank of America locations around Connecticut. 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 recorded the personal identification numbers that bank customers keyed into the ATMs to gain access to their accounts. They then used the stolen information captured by the skimming devices and cameras to create counterfeit bank cards that allowed them to withdraw more than $100,000 in funds from the customers’ accounts.

In February, surveillance video captured Mr. Vlad removing skimming devices and pinhole cameras from Bank of America ATMs in Wallingford and Greenwich. He has been detained since his arrest by the Stamford Police Department on March 2. At the time of his arrest, Mr. Vlad possessed ATM skimming tools and double-sided tape.

Mr. Vlad is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton on Nov. 8, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, a fine of up to $1 million and an order of restitution.

This investigation is being conducted by the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, which includes members of the United States Secret Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Internal Revenue Service — Criminal Investigation, Connecticut State Police, and the Greenwich, Hartford, Stamford, Shelton and Stratford Police Departments.

Acting U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly specifically recognized the efforts of the Greenwich and Stamford Police Departments for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of the matter.

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