ROMANIAN NATIONAL SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN PRISON FOR ROLE IN ATM SKIMMING CONSPIRACY
TRENTON, N.J. – A Romanian national was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to steal bank account information from thousands of customers by installing secret card-reading devices and pinhole cameras on ATMs throughout New Jersey and elsewhere, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Adrian Fichidiu, 37, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan imposed the sentence by videoconference today.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Fichidiu admitted he was part of an “ATM skimming” scheme that stole bank account information by installing hidden card-reading devices on ATMs throughout northern and central New Jersey. Fichidiu previously acknowledged that he and his conspirators created bank cards using the fraudulently obtained account information, which they used to unlawfully withdraw large amounts of cash from various ATMs. The scheme, which involved actual and attempted losses exceeding $1.5 million dollars, impacted over 1,000 bank customers.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Fichidiu to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution that will be finalized at a later date.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., detectives with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone, and detectives with the Woodbridge Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Robert Hubner, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Barnes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office OCDETF/Narcotics Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Jerome Ballarotto Esq., Hamilton, New Jersey