ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Ion Antonescu, 36, of Anaheim, California and Ramona Ghiocel, 37, of Bueno Park, California were sentenced in federal court in Albuquerque on July 9 for access device fraud offenses. Antonescu received a sentence of 30 months in prison and Ghiocel received a sentence of 24 months in prison.
Antonescu pleaded guilty to access device fraud on Jan. 13. Ghiocel pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud on the same date. According to their plea agreements and other public court records, Antonescu and Ghiocel participated in a conspiracy to commit access device fraud in New Mexico during a period of time including November 2018 to March 2019. They knew other members of the conspiracy installed skimming device on ATMs to steal credit and debit card information, created counterfeit access devices and used counterfeit and unauthorized access devices to obtain money. Antonescu provided transportation, lodging and other logistical support in furtherance of the conspiracy. Ghiocel rented an automobile using an alias and provided it to co-conspirators. Antonescu and Ghiocel also made false statements to federal agents to conceal and avoid responsibility for their crimes. The conspiracy involved theft of more than $170,000.
The FBI investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Schied prosecuted the case