Four Romanians, including a brother and sister, have admitted their roles in a scheme involving the use of fraudulent credit cards to withdraw cash from ATMs in Baton Rouge, U.S. Attorney Brandon Fremin reported Thursday.
Cristian Constantin, 20, pleaded guilty this week to illegal possession of device-making equipment and possession of 15 or more counterfeit or unauthorized access devices. Mihaela Stancu, 25, pleaded guilty to the latter charge.
Stancu's brother, Petre Stancu, and another Romanian national, Antonio Serdaru, each pleaded guilty in late October to possessing 15 or more counterfeit access devices.
All four are awaiting sentencing.
The probe began in March when a fraud investigator with Capital One Bank began following the progress of a group of Romanians driving around Shreveport using fraudulent credit cards to withdraw money from Capital One ATMs, said Fremin.
The investigator then followed their progress from Shreveport to Baton Rouge, where the group continued to use fraudulent cards to withdraw cash at Bank One locations in Baton Rouge, he said.
Constantin was found at a Bank One ATM at Siegen Lane and Industriplex Boulevard with more than 100 counterfeit credit cards, an encoder device, false identification documents and $5,200, Fremin stated.
Constantin later confessed to using the credit cards to fraudulently withdraw money from Bank One ATM locations, Fremin said.
In March, Livingston Parish sheriff's deputies stopped a Mercedes in Walker driven by Petre Stancu and occupied by his sister, Serdaru and a juvenile and seized nearly $4,800 in cash and more than 190 counterfeit cards, Fremin said.
Petre and Mihaela Stancu and Serdaru admitted to authorities they used the cards to make fraudulent ATM withdrawals, Fremin stated.