Denver-area ATMs targeted by Romanian syndicate that used fake credit cards to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars – The Denver Post
Two members of a Romanian bank-fraud syndicate have been arrested on federal charges that they siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars from individual bank accounts, including some in Colorado.
Gabriel Daniel Toma-Stoica, 45, was indicted Tuesday in Denver U.S. District Court on one count of bank fraud and using cloning devices to copy credit cards inserted into ATMs.
Toma-Stoica’s alleged accomplice, 49-year-old Daniel Mahu, was indicted March 22 on two counts of fraud using cloning devices.
Agents from Homeland Security Investigations are still trying to identify the leader of the credit-card cloning operation who operates in North Hollywood, Calif., and is known only by the name, Gogu, according to federal court records.
The thieves have acknowledged placing card cloning devices — also called skimmers — on ATMs. When a customer puts their credit card in the ATM, the skimmers capture electronic data that allows thieves make fake cards they then use to steal money from individual bank or credit union accounts.
Toma-Stoica, also known by the alias Ferenc Galyas, was first captured on video from Bank of Midwest ATMs in the Kansas City metro area in November. Bank-fraud investigator William Hall said Bank Midwest suffered more than $200,000 in losses. Other unidentified people believed to be members of the syndicate were also recorded by ATM videos using cloned cards to make large withdrawals from bank accounts.
The first clone device was placed on a Denver area credit union ATM on Dec. 23, court records indicate.
On Jan. 2, an Arvada woman noticed that something very suspicious was happening with her Sooper Credit Union account. Someone had drained $500 from her account from Aurora on New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Day another $500 was withdrawn from a Boulder branch of the credit union.
A Sooper Credit Union executive who reviewed