Feds make arrest in high-tech ATM 'skimming' scam

MELVILLE - Federal officials have arrested a Romanian citizen who they say used high-tech "skimming" devices to steal at least $1.5 million from bank customers.

According to investigators, Laurentiu Lulian Bulat installed the devices on at least 40 ATMs at HSBC banks on the Island, in New York City and in Westchester County since last September.

Court documents state that Bulat used compromised card readers and "pinhole" cameras to read the information on debit cards and watch customers enter their PIN numbers on the machine.

Special Agent Farrell Dolan says Bulat was part of an organized crime ring involving 15-20 people. He says the Romanian citizen, who is in the U.S. illegally, was captured on surveillance video several times. Court papers claim Bulat admitted to being the man in the images, but claimed that he was just using the ATM machines as a customer.

Bulat has been charged with bank fraud. If convicted, he could face 60 years in prison.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

The fire broke out around 2 a.m. Sunday 1 3 injured in early morning Central Islip house fire
The Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj stands at 2 Journalists honor 1st Amendment as Trump hosts rally
A Coast Guard crew has rescued two boaters 3 Coast Guard rescues 2 from sinking vessel off Montauk
4 Woman accused of kicking officers during arrest
Dr. Melinda Edwards taught and inspired the students 5 Former students surprise Baldwin H.S. chorus teacher

advertisement | advertise on News 12


Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.