NEWARK, N.J. – Four members of a scheme that used secret card-reading devices and pinhole cameras on PNC and Bank of America ATMs in New Jersey, pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing at least $428,581. The guilty pleas stem from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Marcel Peckham, 43, of Little Neck, New York, Catalin Mihai Dragomir, 33, of Glendale, New York, Eduard Vasilica Ticu, 32, of Glendale, and Silvester Florentin Papp, 25, of Ridgewood, New York, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Peckham, Dragomir, Ticu, Papp, and others sought to defraud financial institutions and their customers by illegally obtaining customer account information, including account numbers and personal identification numbers. Peckham admitted providing counterfeit ATM cards to other conspirators, knowing that they were going to use them to withdraw cash from compromised bank accounts at ATMs in New Jersey. Dragomir, Ticu and Papp each admitted that between March 2015 and July 2016, they made unauthorized cash withdrawals using the counterfeit ATM cards.
The conspiracy to commit bank fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing for all four defendants is set for Oct. 23, 2017.
Joel Abel Garcia, Victor A. Hanganu and Radu Bogdan Marin also pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and await sentencing. To date, seven of the 13 defendants charged in this matter have been convicted.