SALT LAKE CITY — A Romanian man pleaded guilty Wednesday to devising an ATM skimming scheme that allowed him to steal the personal data of more than 2,700 people, resulting in $216,000 in losses to the bank.
Alexandru Cosmin Licsor, 38, admitted in U.S. District court that from Jan. 10 to Feb. 20, 2015, he installed skimming devices equipped with magnetic card readers, data recorders, digital camera and batteries on some Zions Bank ATMs. The skimming equipment collected bank customer card data and the camera recorded the PIN pad as customers entered their PINs.
After collecting the data and video recordings, Licsor’s associates created counterfeit credit and debit cards.
Licsor and others used or tried to use the cards multiple times at ATMs in Utah and other places. The loss amount totaled $216,157, though authorities say they attempted to steal about $363,035. The others in the case have not been identified.
Federal prosecutors charged Licsor with access device fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft in December 2016 and a warrant was issued for his arrest. After being on the run for more than two years, he was apprehended in Romania and extradited to the United States in November 2019.
The plea deal includes an agreement to sentence Licsor to between 24 months and 71 months in prison, pending court approval. A hearing scheduled for Sept. 23.