I.C.E. News Release




Career financial criminal deported, faces prison in Romania

PHILADELPHIA — A Romanian fugitive wanted in his home country for fraud was deported after serving a sentence in federal prison in the United States for financial crimes. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) handed him over to Romanian authorities without incident Tuesday.

Florin Hristea, 36, who also goes by Constantin Pendus, was going through immigration proceedings in the United States when Romanian authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in December 2012 to serve five years in prison for a conviction of fraud and using forged documents.

However, before his Romanian warrant was issued internationally in November 2013, the criminal was already involved in an ATM skimming fraud in the Northeast United States. From November 2012 through July 2013, he and conspirators stole more than $2.2 million from unsuspecting ATM users by attaching pinhole sized cameras designed to blend in with the ATM machines to capture PIN numbers.

Hristea and his cohorts used the information to create counterfeit ATM cards to withdraw money until federal agents arrested them in June 2013.

Hristea was convicted in New Jersey of his ATM fraud crime in October 2014 and was ordered to 33 months in U.S. federal prison with some time served. An immigration judge ordered him removed from the United States after he finished his sentence, and ICE officers took him from prison back to officials in his home country where it’s expected he’ll serve his outstanding sentence.

“This career criminal and others will not find refuge in the United States,” said Tom Decker, Philadelphia ERO field office director. “We will continue to work with international law enforcement partners to ensure these criminals are sought, arrested and brought to justice.”