Friday, March 23, 2018

Houston men face charges in latest skimming scam

Posted: Monday, March 5, 2018 | Views: 2113

Houston men face charges in latest skimming scam
From Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson:
PONCHATOULA---On February 10, 2018, The Ponchatoula Police Department was notified by Whitney Bank personnel that a skimming device was discovered on the outdoor ATM machine located at 545 West Pine Street. The skimming device contained a small camera that was able to combine the card numbers with associated PIN numbers.

The Ponchatoula Criminal Investigations Division, led by Chief Bry Layrisson, began the investigation into this incident. They were later contacted by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Detective Travis Pitman, who was also working several cases that he suspected was a result of the skimmer found at the Ponchatoula Whitney Bank.

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective Alec Zebrick was working with Hammond Police Department Detectives in a joint effort involving a skimming event at the Baton Rouge TELCO Credit Union on University Drive in Hammond. A joint investigation then began between members of the Louisiana Financial Crimes Task Force, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, Ponchatoula Police Department, Hammond Police Department, and the Lafayette Police Department which led to identifying the group responsible for installing the skimming devices at the Ponchatoula and Hammond locations. Detectives Pitman and Zebrick have identified the group responsible for installing the skimming devices as Romanian Nationals who operate out of Houston, Texas and Miami, Florida. They travel the interstate corridor and target smaller local banks in rural areas adjacent to the interstate. To date, Detectives Pitman and Zebrick have obtained numerous arrest warrants for the identified members of the group of Romanian Nationals responsible for the skimming incidents to include the following:
17 y/o Stan Giovani of Houston, Texas
23 y/o Ilie Margel of Houston, Texas

They are charged with:
3 Counts of L.R.S.14:67.4 Relative to Violation of Anti-Skimming Act
185 Counts of L.R.S.14:67.16 Relative to Identity Theft
185 Counts of L.R.S.14:70.4 Relative to Access Device Fraud
185 Counts of L.R.S.14:71.1 Relative to Bank Fraud