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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. 2 Romanians Sentenced to Federal Prison for Stealing Bank Card Numbers

2 Romanians Sentenced to Federal Prison for Stealing Bank Card Numbers

Release Date: June 27, 2024

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Pensacola investigation has led to the sentencing of two Romanians for theft and bank fraud.

Ion Halmac, 35, and Marian Vasilache, 45, both of Romania, were sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal bank card numbers, possession of bank card skimming equipment, and possession of bank card numbers. The sentences were announced by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Jason R. Coody.

“Crimes that threaten the identities, financial security and future of American citizens will not be tolerated,” said HSI Tallahassee Assistant Special Agent in Charge Nicholas Ingegno. “Alongside our state and local partners, HSI will investigate criminals who steal the identities of U.S. citizens and lurk in the shadows of the internet to pick the digital pockets of unsuspecting victims.”

On April 17, 2023, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped Halmac and Vasilache for speeding as they were traveling on Interstate 10. Both individuals provided false identification, and once properly identified, investigators learned that they were both unlawfully present in the United States. A search of their vehicle revealed card skimming equipment, blank cards and a laptop computer with over 3,000 bank card numbers. Investigators later searched a storage facility in New Orleans belonging to the defendants and found additional skimming equipment.

“These cases demonstrate the success of cooperative investigations by federal and local agencies working to identify and arrest those attempting to profit from fraud and theft,’” said Coody. “The protection of our citizens’ financial information is paramount, and with the help of our law enforcement partners, we will hold criminals accountable, no matter their national origin.”

Each defendant was ordered to serve one year of supervised release following their prison sentence, which will likely be negated due to their immediate deportation proceedings.

This case resulted from a joint investigation by HSI Pensacola, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Walter Narramore prosecuted the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the attorney general.

Last Updated: 06/27/2024
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