Three Members Convicted In Manhattan Federal Court

Three Members Of International Fraud And Money Laundering Conspiracy Convicted In Manhattan Federal Court

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the convictions last week of MIRCEA CONSTANTINESCU, NIKOLAOS LIMBERATOS, and ALEXANDRU RADULESCU for their participation in an international conspiracy to commit a variety of offenses, including access device fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft, following a seven-day trial before the Honorable Sidney H. Stein.

United States Attorney Damian Williams said: “As the jury recognized, these defendants participated in a prolific ATM skimming and money laundering ring that spanned years and continents. They caused staggering losses by, among other things, stealing account numbers and personal identification numbers of their victims using sophisticated technology. Because of yesterday’s verdict, they will no longer be able to ‘cash out’ on others’ identities.”

As proven at trial:

MIRCEA CONSTANTINESCU, NIKOLAOS LIMBERATOS, and ALEXANDRU RADULESCU were members of an international “ATM skimming” and money laundering organization (the “Skimming Organization”). From approximately 2014 to 2019, the Skimming Organization made millions of dollars by installing sophisticated machinery on ATMs and point-of-sale machines, capturing unsuspecting bank customers’ card numbers and PINs, reencoding that information on counterfeit cards, and then “cashing out” those cards to withdraw as much money as they could.

The Skimming Organization sent crews of “install” and “cash out” workers to travel throughout the country, carrying out numerous skimming operations at various banks and on point-of-sale machines. The operations often lasted a period of days. After cashing out, the teams would take a cut of the money earned and provide the rest to the Skimming Organization’s leaders.

LIMBERATOS and RADULESCU were leaders of the Skimming Organization, who ran teams of “install” and “cash out” workers, oversaw the manufacture and repair of skimming devices, cased ideal locations, organized skimming jobs, and made millions of dollars as a result. LIMBERATOS also participated in laundering the proceeds of the skimming jobs, including through a restaurant business he owned.

CONSTANTINESCU helped to send and receive packages containing skimming and skimming-related equipment, worked with an engineer who fashioned skimming devices, and laundered money for the Skimming Organization from the United States to Romania.

CONSTANTINESCU, LIMBERATOS, and RADULESCU were among 33 defendants charged in connection with this case.

* * *

CONSTANTINESCU, 48, of Queens, New York, was convicted of one count of conspiring to commit access device fraud, one count of conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of conspiring to commit money laundering. Those counts carry a maximum potential sentence of 59 years and six months in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years of in prison.

LIMBERATOS, 56, of Deer Park, New York, was convicted of one count of aggravated identity theft. Shortly before trial, LIMBERATOS pled guilty to one count of conspiring to commit access device fraud, one count of conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud, and one count of conspiring to commit money laundering. Those counts together carry a maximum potential sentence of 59 years and six months of in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.

RADULESCU, 36, of Romania, was convicted of one count of aggravated identity theft. Shortly before trial, RADULESCU pled guilty to one count of conspiring to commit access device fraud, one count of conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud, and one count of access device fraud. Those counts together carry a maximum potential sentence of 54 years and six months in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

All three defendants are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Stein on October 13, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. (CONSTANTINESCU), 3:00 p.m. (LIMBERATOS), and 3:30 p.m. (RADULESCU).

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Hanft, Samuel P. Rothschild, Maggie Lynaugh, and Robert B. Sobelman are in charge of the prosecution.

SOURCE: USDOJ.Today