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Alleged ATM Skimmers Want MDC Laptops a la Ghislaine Maxwell As Vaduva to Plead Guilty

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 27 – A dozen men in shackles charged with ATM skimming came into  the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York courtroom of Judge Laura Taylor Swain on January 9, 2020, before COVID hit.

. They had interpreters in French and Romanian, and a coordinating discovery attorney, Emma G. Greenwood.

  Of the eight who are in detention, six wore beige and two were in blue. One, Florida Claudiu Martin, had a lawyer who arrived late - a lawyer Inner City Press recently saw practicing across the East River in the EDNY, Edward Sapone - but for whom another CJA lawyer filled in. Another co-defendant is Claudiu Vaduva. It was all very genteel, and all pushed forward to April 23 with time excluded.

Now after month of COVID lockdowns, on November 25 Judge Swain held another proceeding in the case, and Inner City Press again covered it.

 Sapone's partner Chase Ruddy (Sapone had a moving sentencing before Judge Broderick) said he's said that other other defendants - or defendant, singular, Ghislaine Maxwell - in the MDC are given access to a laptop computer. Why not Florian Martin? Judge Swain told the Assistant US Attorney to discuss issues with Ruddy and presumably other defense counsel in this case. But will they all get laptops?

   For co-defendant Claudiu Vaduva, that may now become moot, as least as to discovery. On November 27, the day after Thanksgiving 2020, the US Attorney's Office wrote to Judge Swain asking for a December 14 "change of plea" hearing - that is, to plead guilty. Watch this site.

   Inner City Press has been covering this case since Thanksgiving, 2019.

Then on December 5 three more co-defendants were presented in the Mag Court, again with Inner City Press the only media present. They included Cristian Almanu and Madlin Alexandru Anca, represented by Justin Foy. They were added to the January 9 conference before Judge Swain, and detained upon consent. Inner City Press tweeted at Romania's Mission to the UN for comment, but received none. So much for consular notice. We'll have more on this.

On November 27 it was Constantinescu "a/k/a 'Sobo' shipped a credit card point-of-sale terminal used to fashion skimming devices from a shipping facility in or around Mt. Pocono, Pennsylvania to Veracruz, Mexico, on or about June 26, 2018."

    Hanes-Calugaru for his part "installed skimming devices on an ATM in or around Canterbury, Connecticut on or about January 7 and 14, 2017."

     Diaconu "used fraudulent debit cards to withdraw cash from victim accountholders' bank accounts using ATMs in or around Chattanooga and Ooltewah, Tennessee or about about June 2 and 3, 2018."   

All three were detained. Two will have a bail hearing on December 6 before SDNY Judge Laura T. Swain who has already denied bond in the case to Nikolaos Limberatos a/k/a Nicu Limberto, on the grounds that the US would not seek his extradition from Greece if he managed to flee there.

  Judge Swain did, however, grant co-defendant Andrew Eliopoulos' request to travel to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving.

 The case is US v. Constantinescu, et al., 19-cr-651 (Swain). 


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