Two men with fake passports who put card skimmers and pinhole cameras on ATMs in Dubuque recently were sentenced to federal prison.
Stefan D. Busoi, 30, and Razvan M. Diculescu, 29, both of Romania, were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of device-making equipment. Each must serve three years of supervised release after their prison terms. There is no parole in the federal system.
State court documents stated that MidWestOne Bank personnel found a card skimmer on the ATM at 913 Locust St. in June and called police. Skimmers are electronic devices that are attached or inserted into terminals like ATMs by scammers attempting to steal magnetic strip data off a credit or debit card.
Surveillance footage showed two men driving into Dubuque from Wisconsin at about 6:15 p.m. June 17 and, over the course of the next three and a half hours, attaching card skimmers and cameras to three ATMs, according to court documents. During the course of doing this, the men also repeatedly changed the license plates on the vehicle that they were in. They then left the city.
At about 11:15 p.m. June 18, police located the same vehicle as it approached the Locust Street ATM and arrested Busoi and Diculescu, though at that time they had fake Greek passports and were charged at the state level as Foivos Kourovpas, 29, of Chicago, and Apostolis Athanasiadis, 29, no permanent address.
“A search warrant was executed on the vehicle and yielded electronic devices, cards with magnetic strips and tools consistent with the installation and removal of skimming devices,” a press release states.
It noted that “no personal information was compromised” by the skimmers.
Both men originally were charged at the state level with three counts of illegal use of a scanning device, a felony. The man then known as Kourovpas also was charged with possession of marijuana and fifth-degree theft.
All those charges were dismissed when the federal charges were filed.