A Long Island man could get decades in prison after a jury convicted him of leading a massive ATM skimming and money laundering scheme that bilked millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims.
Following a seven-day federal trial in Manhattan, a jury found three defendants, including Suffolk County resident Nikolaos Limberatos, age 56, of Deer Park, guilty on multiple charges.
For Limberatos, that was one count of aggravated identity theft. He had already pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit access device fraud, conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud, and conspiring to commit money laundering.
According to the US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, the trio made millions of dollars between 2014 and 2019 by installing devices on ATMs and point-of-sale machines that collected, or “skimmed,” bank card numbers and associated PINs.
They then transferred that information to counterfeit cards and “cashed out” the cards to withdraw as much money as they could, prosecutors said.
Limberatos worked with a 36-year-old Romanian man, Alexandru Radulescu, to run teams of “install” and “cash out” workers, and oversaw the manufacturing and repair of the skimming devices, according to prosecutors.
He also laundered the proceeds, including through a restaurant business he owned, prosecutors said.
“As the jury recognized, these defendants participated in a prolific ATM skimming and money laundering ring that spanned years and continents,” said US Attorney Damian Williams.
“They caused staggering losses by, among other things, stealing account numbers and personal identification numbers of their victims using sophisticated technology. Because of yesterday’s verdict, they will no longer be able to ‘cash out’ on others’ identities.”
Limberatos now faces between two and 59 years in prison.
Radulescu was convicted of one count of aggravated identity theft after pleading guilty to conspiring to commit access device fraud, conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud, and one count of access device fraud.
He faces between two years and 54 years in prison.
A third defendant, Mircea Constantinescu, age 48, of Queens, faces up to 59 years behind bars after he was found guilty on one count of conspiring to commit access device fraud, conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of conspiring to commit money laundering.
Prosecutors said Constantinescu helped send and receive packages containing skimming and related equipment, worked with an engineer who made the devices, and laundered money for the group from the United States to Romania.
Limberatos, Radulescu, and Constantinescu were among 33 people charged in connection with the case.
All three defendants are scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, Oct. 13.
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