SALT LAKE CITY, Utah Nov. 8, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A fugitive linked to an ATM skimming scheme that defrauded Utah banks and customers has been apprehended and returned to Utah, and makes his first appearance before a judge Friday afternoon.
Alexandru Cosmin Licsor, 37 and a citizen of Romania, had been on the run for more than two years, a statement from the Utah District of the FBI says.
“Upon learning that Licsor was in Romania, Romanian authorities arrested him on an extradition request,” the FBI statement says.
On October 11, 2017, Licsor was charged in an indictment with possession or use of an access device, three counts of bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Liscor was returned to the U.S. on Thursday.
The indictment alleges that, from January to February 2015, Licsor and his co-conspirators, who remain unidentified, installed skimming equipment on at least four different bank ATMs in Utah “with the purpose of recording information from the debit and credit cards customers inserted at those ATMs.”
According to the charges, Licsor and his associates were able to successfully withdraw nearly $190,000 from more than 2,000 cards of unsuspecting customers.
“Although Licsor managed to elude authorities for a while, this case demonstrates the FBI’s unwavering pursuit for justice,” Paul Haertel, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office, said in a prepared statement.
“Without the existence of strong partnerships among law enforcement
agencies at home and abroad, Licsor’s arrest and extradition would not have been possible, and he will now face a judge for his alleged crimes.”
Financial institutions targeted in the operation — either by use of skimming devices or by theft of funds through use of counterfeit cards with stolen PIN numbers — include multiple locations of Zions Bank, a West Valley City Wells Fargo Bank, US Bank, Bank of America, and CU Anytime Bank in New Mexico.