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Romanian man sentenced, two others plead guilty in ATM-skimming scheme

A 24-year-old Romanian man was sentenced and two other Romanian men pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston this week in connection with an ATM-skimming scheme that operated in Massachusetts and other states, federal prosecutors said.

Nicusor Bonculescu, who had pleaded guilty earlier this year to two conspiracy charges and an aggravated theft charge, was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison and three years of supervised release, according to a statement from the US attorney’s office for Massachusetts. He was also ordered to pay more than $72,000 worth of restitution.

Suedin Chiciu, 28, and Florinel Vaduv, 22, pleaded guilty Tuesday in separate hearings to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity and conspiracy to use counterfeit access devices, according to the attorney’s office. Vaduv also pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, and the duo are scheduled to be sentenced in January, prosecutors said.

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Bonculescu, Vaduv, and 12 others were indicted in connection with the ATM-skimming scheme last year, and Chiciu was added to the case by superseding indictment in August, according to the attorney’s office.

The defendants with the exception of one were part of a crew that obtained debit card numbers and PINs from unsuspecting bank customers, created fake cards, and made unauthorized withdrawals from victims’ bank accounts, prosecutors said.

The crew installed skimming devices over a 1.5-year period and made unauthorized withdrawals in seven states, including Massachusetts, according to authorities.


Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.