Police aid in statewide ATM skimming scheme

The Greenwich Police Department has been specifically recognized for its efforts in an investigation of an ATM skimming scheme that recently resulted in the imprisonment of 29-year-old Ionut-Iulian Vlad.

Mr. Vlad, a citizen of Romania, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 18 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in the scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Mr. Vlad and others conspired to install skimming devices on automated teller machines at Bank of America locations in 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.

The co-conspirators used the stolen information captured by the skimming devices and pinhole cameras to create counterfeit bank cards that allowed them to withdraw more than $100,000 in funds from the customers’ accounts.

In February 2013, surveillance video captured Mr. Vlad removing skimming devices and pinhole cameras from Bank of America ATMs in Wallingford and Greenwich.

Mr. Vlad has been detained since his arrest by the Stamford Police Department on March 2. At the time of his arrest, he possessed ATM skimming tools and double-sided tape.

On Aug. 19, Mr. Vlad pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. He was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $105,404.75.

This investigation is being conducted by the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, which includes members of the GPD. Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, specifically recognized the efforts of the Greenwich and Stamford Police Departments for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.

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