NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – A Romanian national in the country illegally was sentenced to over two years in prison, more than $118,000 in restitution payments and is now facing deportation after stealing information from ATMs mostly in the New Orleans area.
Mihai Alexandru Dinu, 41-years-old, pleaded guilty to bank fraud and was subsequently sentenced to 27 months in prison according to NOLA.com.
Dinu admitted to authorities, as part of his plea agreement, that he was not the only illegal immigrant moving across the country to steal banking information from ATMs using “skimming” devices.
The foreign national was just one member of a larger criminal organization that was entrenched in the work across the country, using fake passports and diver’s licenses to illegally withdraw money from ATMs.
The so-called skimming devices were used by the organization on at least two occasions in the New Orleans area between December 2014 and March 2015.
Investigators said the devices are magnetic that allow for criminals to secretly record the PIN numbers of customers’ transactions, giving them unauthorized access to personal information and bank accounts.
The criminal organization stole over $118,000 between June 2014 and September 2015, according to court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas.
Dinu said he and his partners would install the devices on ATMs, lifting personal information of customers in real time. The group would also use fake identities to open bank accounts.
Just a month before being arrested for bank fraud, Dinu was pulled over with another Romanian national and illegal immigrant, also a member of the criminal organization, in a suburb outside of the New Orleans area.
Both illegal immigrants admitted to police at the time that they were in the country illegally, but Dinu was released “due to a lack of evidence, court documents show,” NOLA.com reported.
The other illegal immigrant, Marinica Mirel Cotoi, pleaded guilty to bank fraud in 2015 after being pulled over by police where he used a fake Polish passport, according to court documents.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.