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Final Suspect Sentenced in Greenwich ATM Scam

GREENWICH, Conn. – The final suspect in a 2009 Greenwich ATM skimming scheme has been sentenced to 24 months of prison and five years of supervised release, according to a press release from David B. Fein, U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut.

Ion Preda, 23, also known as Mircea Preda, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall Thursday in Bridgeport. Preda, of Romania, and four conspirators stole a total of $200,000. He was ordered to pay some $202,000 in restitution.

According to Fein, Preda and his co-conspirators installed skimming devices on ATMs and on card swipe devices used by banks to control access to lobby doors in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. The devices captured information encoded on the magnetic strips of customers' bank. Hidden cameras were used to record customers’ PIN numbers. The stolen information was used to create counterfeit bank cards.

In September 2009, Preda and co-defendant Marius Olustean used cloned ATM cards and stolen PINs from People’s United Bank customers in Madison to withdraw cash from  an ATM in Greenwich. Both were arrested on May 3, 2010.

On Oct. 18, 2010, Preda pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. On Dec. 2, 2010, Olustean pleaded guilty to the same charges. He was later sentenced to 41 months in prison.

The Greenwich Police Department assisted in the investigation.

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