LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The US Attorney’s Office has brought charges against a dozen people for their alleged roles in a wide-ranging crime ring involving ATM fraud, financial account theft and skimming personal bank data.
Nine of the defendants were charged separately with conspiracy to commit bank fraud in a criminal complaint unsealed in Los Angeles federal court. Three of the defendants remain at large.
The complaint alleged the group’s members used skimming devices (often tiny cameras) to record bank users’ PINs and passwords. The defendants allegedly replicated the stolen data on blank bank and gift cards.
Using the newly coded bank cards and stolen PINs, the defendants withdrew cash from ATMs in Los Angeles and Orange counties, federal prosecutors allege.
Those charged are:
— Oliver Raducu Marian, 33, also known as Tyrone Steven Constant, no hometown given;
— Gheorghita Vlasin, 26, of Los Angeles;
— Petru Olteanu-Ursachi, 36, of Los Angeles;
— Bogdan Ciuchi, 29, no hometown available;
— Codrin Marian Lupu, no age available, of Los Angeles;
— Adrian Saran, 36, of Los Angeles;
— Marius Robert Manciu, no age or hometown available;
— Claudiu Buculei, 37, no hometown given;
— Roman Florin Buciumi, no age given, of Los Angeles;
— Vasile Gabriel Branisteanu, no age given, of Los Angeles;
— Cotovanu Claudiu-Dumitru, 31, of Los Angeles; and
— Calian Marios Dumitru, no age available, of Los Angeles.
Three of those named — Marian, Ciuchi and Buculei — are being sought by investigators, officials said.