LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Romanian national who entered the United States illegally and who stole bank account information from hundreds of people will serve three years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

When police arrested Marian Poenaru, 21, last year, they found 12 skimming devices and 575 forged cards that had been reencoded with DETR account information, the 8 News Now I-Team reported. Poenaru had also entered the country illegally, officials said.

Marian Poenaru (KLAS)

The skimming devices are either inserted into the device where you would insert or swipe your card or glued on top of point-of-sale devices. In addition, thieves will stick pin-hole cameras onto the plastic coverings of an ATM, Metro detective previously said about similar schemes.

In April 2021, Las Vegas Metro police responded to two incidents involving the skimmers at Bank of America ATMs, one at 5240 Boulder Highway and a second at 2798 Green Valley Parkway.

Police said Poenaru re-encoded gift cards with magnetic strips with stolen bank card information. Banks nor DETR have control over this process.

Skimming device
A skimming device that goes over a point-of-sale device. (KLAS)

Investigators said Poenaru’s activity was not limited to Nevada, but also included fraud in Indiana, Maryland, Michigan and Virginia.

Following a three-and-a-half year prison sentence, Poenaru will be placed on three years of supervised release as part of his plea agreement, officials said. He faces deportation following his sentence.

With nearly 600 accounts compromised, federal investigators said Poenaru’s criminal activity involved more than 500 individuals.