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Grand Jury Indicts Three in ATM Scam

The U.S. Attorney’s office will try three women they accuse of conducting an ATM “skimming” scam that hit People’s United Bank branches in Darien, Greenwich, Stamford and Darien. On Tuesday, a New Haven grand jury indicted Sabrina Matache, 21, and Nadia Pasici, 48, both of Little Village, N.Y., and 31-year-old Laura Stiuca, of Maspeth, N.Y., following their arrest in Darien last month.

The three are accused of installing devices on ATMs and in card readers used for after-hours entry that copied digital information from the magnetic strips on customers' cards. The suspects also installed pinhole cameras which allowed them to record PIN numbers and other personal information. The indictment saidt this information  allowed the women to create false ATM cards to access bank accounts.

According to the indictment, the women used the technology to gain account information from customers at a Cos Cob People’s United Branch in late March and early April. Between April 19 and 22, Matache and Stiuca made approximately $50,000 in withdrawals from branches in Greenwich, Stamford and Darien. The Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force caught the three at the Darien branch, at 25 Old Kings Highway on April 22, and according to the U.S. Attorney’s press release, “the three defendants allegedly possessed cash, several re-encoded gift cards containing stolen bank account information, handwritten notes with lists of stolen four-digit personal identification numbers, ATM skimming tools and other items used in the conspiracy.”

The grand jury charges all three with a count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and added four counts of bank fraud and four counts of identity theft for Matache and Stiuca. The three could receive sentences of up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million for each conspiracy or bank fraud charge, and a mandatory two additional years for each charge of identity theft. Matache and Stiuca were released on bonds, and Pasici is being held until trial.

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