ATM scheme defrauded banks in Connecticut towns, including Monroe

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U.S. Attorney

A Romanian national was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for his role in a nationwide ATM skimming scheme, defrauding banks from coast to coast.

On April 6, Leonard C Boyle, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea sentenced George Dragusin, 65, a citizen of Romania, who is also known as “Georgio Anderini” and “Einstein.”

According to court documents and statements in court on April 6, between February and June 2017, a Connecticut bank experienced approximately 35 incidents of ATM skimming at locations in Stratford, Monroe, Trumbull, Greenwich, Fairfield and elsewhere in Connecticut.

As part of the scheme, conspiracy members placed skimming devices at the ATMs to capture account numbers and personal identification numbers (“PINs”) from customers who used their ATM cards at the ATMs while the devices were in place.

Conspiracy members then used the captured information to make substitute ATM cards, and obtained money and made purchases using those cards. The banks suffered losses of approximately $286,069 during the scheme.

On August 23, 2019, Dragusin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. In pleading guilty, he admitted that he installed and removed ATM skimming equipment at several bank locations in Connecticut — and used re-encoded cards and PINs to obtain money from several bank locations.

Dragusin also admitted that, between March and September 2018, he participated in ATM skimming activity in Nevada, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and California, causing multiple banks to suffer total losses of more than $645,000.

Dragusin was arrested in Hayward, Calif., in September 2018. He has been detained since his arrest.

This investigation has been conducted by the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force; the U.S. Secret Service in New Haven and Las Vegas; the Greenwich Police Department; the Monroe Police Department; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the New York Police Department; the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department; the Dixon (Calif.) Police Department, and the Hayward (Calif.) Police Department.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anastasia E. King.

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