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Romanian woman pleads guilty for role in fraud scheme

A Romanian woman has admitted to her involvement in a bank fraud scheme operated by her husband, Nicolae Sarbu.

Marinela Unguru-Ducila, of Romania, was sentenced to time served by U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara for her role, according to the
U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Between August and November 2015, Unguru-Ducila knew her husband was involve in a scheme to defraud Bank of America by using skimming
devices and cameras at ATMs in the Buffalo and Rochester areas as well as in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but failed to report it, prosecutors said.

Sarbu, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced by Arcara on May 17.

Unguru-Ducila was with Nicolae Sarbu several times when he installed r removed the skimmers and cameras that recorded bank account
information and personal identification numbers, prosecutors charged.

A skimmer is a device used to record bank account information from a customer’s debit card when the card is inserted into an ATM. Sarbu
also encoded the bank account information obtained by the skimmers onto blank plastic cards and gift cards. Unguru-Ducila was there when
Sarbu installed skimmers at multiple banks in the Buffalo area, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The total loss suffered by Bank of America was $183,120.54, prosecutors said.

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-363-7269 or email madams@bridgetowermedia.com.

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