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Guilty pleas add up in ATM ‘skimming’ case


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The guilty pleas are beginning to add up in a federal investigation into ATM “skimming.”

A 31-year-old Queens man pleaded guilty in Newark Wednesday to bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. Bogdan Radu was one of about a dozen people charged in the scheme.

The U.S. attorney’s office says the group installed devices in ATMs to retrieve customer account information, and also installed pinhole cameras in bank vestibules to record ATM users’ keystrokes to get personal identification numbers. They then allegedly created fake bank cards using the stolen information.

Also Wednesday, 53-year-old Constantine Gingra was sentenced to 57 months in prison for his role in the scheme. A third defendant pleaded guilty Tuesday.

The alleged ringleader, 31-year-old Marius Vintila of Queens, was arraigned in Newark on Wednesday.