Three admit to ATM fraud of more than $428,000
Three men involved in a scheme that used duplicated ATM cards to steal more than $428,000 pleaded guilty in the past month. Joel Abel Garcia, 35, of the Bronx, admitted Tuesday to committing bank fraud as part of the conspiracy that involved 13 defendants. The group was accused of using skimming devices placed onto the card readers of ATM machines owned by Bank of America or PNC Bank to steal the card’s information, then obtaining the personal identification numbers through pinhole cameras that recorded the customers’ keystrokes. The information was then transferred to more than 10 blank ATM cards that were used to withdraw about $428,481 from March 2015 to July 2016. About $132,805 was personally attributed to Garcia, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Victor Hanganu, 35, a Romanian citizen living in Bayside, New York, admitted April 10 that he placed the pinhole cameras. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The two men face a maximum of 30 years in prison and $1 million fine when they are sentenced this summer. A third man, Ramu Marin, 36, a Romanian citizen living in Glendale, New York, pleaded guilty to the same charge March 29. The 10 other defendants’ cases are still pending.