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Credit card skimmer sentenced to 4 years in prison

March 11, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 35-year-old man described as “an experienced credit card skimmer” has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for bank fraud.

The case started in April 2018 in New York City, the US Attorney’s Office in Oregon said in a release. Ciprian Simion was arrested there for using fake ATM cards and pins to withdraw cash. Investigators later found about 100 forged debit cards and three forgery devices, KOIN reported.

A grand jury indicted him on more than 200 counts for fraud.

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But after the charges in New York, Simion moved to Oregon. In March 2019, Simion and another man, Gabriel Tigmarau, put a credit card skimmer on a Rivermark Community Credit Union ATM in Newberg, along with skimmers at several other ATMs.

With the stolen account information, they made fake credit and debit cards to withdraw cash, prosecutors said. But on April 27, 2019, the men were caught tampering with an ATM at the IBEW Credit Union in Portland. Investigators later determined Simion stole the numbers from at least 354 accounts.

A federal grand jury indicted Simion and Tigmarau on 11 counts related to the bank fraud. In 2020, they both pleaded guilty to one count each of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

In February 2021, Tigmarau was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison. On Wednesday, Simion was sentenced to four years in federal prison. Both also must serve five years of supervised release.