MINEOLA - Authorities say a Long Island Rail Road skimming scam is bigger than they originally thought.
Prosecutors say a Romanian gang used a tiny camera and a card skimmer to steal thousands of bank card numbers from LIRR ticket machines. Husband and wife Valler and Teodora Zaharia were indicted today on even more identity theft and grand larceny charges.
According to prosecutors, the couple and two other men had stolen bank card numbers, skimming equipment and cash in their Queens apartment. Prosecutors say JPMorgan Chase reported more than $74,000 stolen in the scheme, and 10 other banks are still tallying up their losses.
Prosecutors named a fifth person in the indictment. They say Cezar Nastasa fled the country, possibly just days after the initial arrest. They add that he may have taken with him two other people who are allegedly involved in the scheme.
Prosecutors offered the couple a plea deal today of one to six years in prison. They remain behind bars without bond.