Romanian National Pleads Guilty In Computer Hacking Scheme

There’s an update to a case previously noted on this site.

NEWARK, N.J. – A Romanian citizen has admitted orchestrating an international hacking scheme targeting retailers, security companies, medical offices and individuals in the United States, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Mircea-Ilie Ispasoiu, 30, of Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Romania, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court to Count One and Count Seven of an indictment charging him with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From August 2011 through February 2014, Ispasoiu was employed as computer systems administrator at a large financial institution in Romania. Ispasoiu’s scheme involved hacking networks belonging to retailers, security companies, medical offices and individuals in order to steal user names and passwords, personal identifiers and credit and debit card data. Ispasoiu also gained access to a computer at a large security company that ran background checks on job applicants. Ispasoiu stole the applicants’ personal identifying information, including their fingerprints.

The wire fraud charge to which Ispasoiu pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory two-year term of imprisonment to run consecutive to any other sentence. Both charges carry a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offenses. Sentencing is set for June 29, 2016.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Wood, with the investigation leading to the plea. U.S. Attorney Fishman also thanked the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs in Washington, as well as the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice in Romania and its law enforcement partners, for their support.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Shapiro of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section of the Office’s Economic Crimes Unit.

Defense counsel: Kevin Carlucci Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark

SOURCE: U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey

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