ANCHORAGE – A Romanian national, who resided in California, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for bank fraud using a device to steal credit card information in a process known as skimming. He is also required to pay $57,713.53 in restitution to his known victims.
According to court documents, Marcus Rosu, 40, became the subject of a federal investigation in February 2020 when the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) intercepted a package containing hundreds of fraudulent bank cards containing customers’ card information. The cards were backtracked to more than 70 banking institutions in southern California and some were traced to fraudulent transactions in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley. Through the course of the investigation, Rosu was identified as the suspected mailer of the package.
Following the investigation on a report of ATM skimming at a Matanuska Valley Family Credit Union in Willow, Alaska, law enforcement arrested Rosu at a rental car company at Ted Stevens International Airport in July 2020. After his arrest, law enforcement searched Rosu’s hotel room and found more than 1,000 magnetic strip cards, a laptop computer and a magnetic strip reader-encoder hidden in the ceiling tiles.
In February 2021, Rosu pled guilty to bank fraud. In the plea he admitted to installing skimming devices on ATMs which he used to record customer information encoded on the magnetic stripe of customers’ ATM cards. Using a magnetic strip writer, Rosu copied the stolen account information onto his own magnetic stripe cards producing hundreds of counterfeit cards. He then used the falsified magnetic strip cards and customer PINs, to access customers bank accounts and steal their money.
According to Interpol and other agencies, Rosu was previously convicted of similar offenses in the United Kingdom and Australia. Their records indicate he used at least 12 aliases and eight different dates of birth. He is also a suspect in a similar skimming scheme in Connecticut and Michigan.
“Theft of personal financial information is a serious problem which damages the credit of too many unsuspecting Alaskan citizens,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson of the District of Alaska. “We encourage everyone to visually and physically inspect ATMs or other payment stations for any obvious signs of tampering prior to using their debit or credit cards.”
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service remains steadfast in our commitment to investigate any criminal use of the U.S. Mail,” said Inspector in Charge Anthony Galetti. “The defendant perpetuated their ATM skimming not just in Alaska but across the United States just as they have previously done overseas. The removal of this defendant from the streets ensures our continued efforts to secure the U.S. Mail and protect the Postal Service from criminal attack and misuse. We appreciate the collaborative efforts of our law enforcement partners in bringing this defendant to justice.”
“Identity theft and fraud affects far too many Alaskans each year, and the Alaska State Troopers along with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners will aggressively investigate anyone that victimizes Alaskans,” said Captain Andrew Gorn, Commander of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation. “After committing similar crimes across the multiple states and countries, it was the efforts of Alaska’s law enforcement community that finally held Mr. Rosu accountable for his actions.”
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Alaska State Troopers with the support of the Anchorage Airport Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Vandergaw of the District of Alaska prosecuted the case.