Two plead guilty in WaMu skimming operation

Romulus Bacian, 40, and Marius Enache Csapay, 45, both of Romania, pleaded guilty today to their roles in a conspiracy to steal ATM/debit card account information from hundreds of Washington Mutual customers using
“skimming” equipment they illegally affixed to ATMs around the metro Atlanta area.

According to various sources: beginning in the fall of 2007 and continuing through July 2008, the defendants and co-conspirators Gabriel Cirlan and Nicolae Drasovian installed illegal skimming devices on Washington Mutual automated teller machines (ATM’s) in the metro Atlanta area. Cirlan encoded stolen, unactivated American Express gift cards with the account information and used the gift cards as proxies for actual debit cards to withdraw funds from the compromised accounts. During the course of the conspiracy, it is estimated that the conspirators stole more than $200,000.

A sentencing date has not yet been set for Bacian and Csapay before United States District Judge Richard W. Story. They both face a minimum term of two years in federal prison and a maximum term of up to 22 years in federal prison. Both defendants are also subject to deportation from the United States following the completion of their sentences.

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