Two people from Romania, 1 in country illegally, arrested in card skimming scheme

Thursday, December 21st 2017, 3:18 pm PST
Thursday, December 21st 2017, 6:20 pm PST
By Rachael Thomas

A man and a woman from Romania have been arrested in connection with a card skimming scheme across multiple parishes, officials with the Gonzales Police Department confirm.

Chief Sherman Jackson says his department received a tip from the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office and Secret Service that the two suspects were traveling through the area. The two suspects, Daniela-Stefania Ianev, 30, and Marius Daniel Nuta, 24, who are both from Romania, reportedly used skimmers in Baton Rouge and St. John the Baptist Parish. They were arrested at a Shell gas station near the Tanger Outlets in Gonzales on Thursday afternoon.

Two additional suspects have been identified. Officials believe they were also involved in the card skimming scheme. They are Nauris Matei, 24, and Cati Elinescu, 24, also both from Romania. Officials believe these two suspects were inside the gas station when Ianev and Nuta were arrested and left the store on foot. All of the suspects share an address in Jacksonville, Florida.

Officials say Ianev is in the country illegally and Nuta's immigration proceedings are currently pending.

A search warrant was executed on their vehicle, and officials found nearly $5,000 in cash and 57 different types of gift cards all encoded with account information from various banks. Each card was labeled with a sticker with a handwritten PIN and dollar amount.

Charges are as follows:

*Monetary instrument abuse (57 counts)
*Access device fraud (valued at $22,161)
*Fugitive from EBR Parish
*Anti-skimming Act

*Monetary instrument abuse (57 counts)
*Access device fraud (valued at $22,161)
*Additional charges are expected to be filed against Ianev and Nuta from other agencies.

Several agencies worked on this case, including the Gonzales Police Department, the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office, the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office, the Kenner Police Department, and Louisiana State Police.