Romanian citizen pleads guilty in federal court to attempted bank fraud with an ATM skimming device

State News

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KLFY) — A Romanian citizen pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday, July 21 after admitting to using a skimming device on an ATM machine.

Gigi Velcu, 37, attempted to steal money from the City Savings Bank in Deridder. The skimming equipment was used to collect bank customer card data and the camera recorded the keypad as customers entered their PINs.

Deridder Police surveilled the ATM and saw Velcu on video inserting a card into the ATM’s reader in order to activate the harvesting of the bank account numbers contained on the skimming device’s hard drive. Velcu further admitted that the bank account information and video recordings of the PINs would have been used to create counterfeit debit cards which would then be used to make purchases and obtain cash.

Velcu will be sentenced on Oct. 15 and faces 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, five years of supervised release and possible deportation.

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