Inner City Press





In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYTAzerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .



These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis
,



Share |   

Follow on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

CONTRIBUTE

(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube

More: InnerCityPro

BloggingHeads.tv
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka

VoA: NYCLU

FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"
 

 

 


Community
Reinvestment

Bank Beat

Freedom of Information
 

How to Contact Us



In Deep Implant ATM Card Skimmer Case After Verdict Samolis Got 15 Months, Pepy Pleads

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 19 – 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. They had interpreters in French and Romanian, and now a coordinating discovery attorney, Emma G. Greenwood.

  But on Monday, March 16, amid the Coronavirus crisis when two more defendant in the case extradited from Romania on Friday were presented before SDNY Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron, their lawyers were not physically present. They appeared by telephone. One asked that his business card be given to his client. For the other, the defendant asked who he was.

   Both asked that their appointments be back dated to March 9. It was granted, and the defendants were detained on consent.

On February 24, docketed in the case was an order of judicial removal for David Georgescu, stating that on February 27, 2020 he was paroled into the US at JFK airport for criminal prosecution. He was set to be removed to Romania.

 In June 2022 a trial approached: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Sidney H. Stein: Final Pretrial Conference as to Mircea Constantinescu, Nikolaos Limberatos, Alexandru Radulescu held on 6/15/2022. Defendant Mircea Constantinescu present with attorney Meredith Heller; defendant Nikolaos Limberatos present with attorney Jeffrey Einhorn and Alan Seidler; defendant Alexandru Radulescu present with attorney James Branden; for the government Elizabeth Hanft, Margaret Lynaugh present, Samuel Rothschild by telephone; court reporter George Malinowski. The trial of this matter remains at June 27 at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 23B. Defendant Limberatos and Radulescu remain in custody."

On June 23 Inner City Press was in the Magistrates Court when Radulescu was brought in by Marshals and pled guilty to Counts 1, 2 and 6 - while still heading to trial on Count 3 on Monday. Some of the allocution was done two times - better safe that sorry, the parties said - and what the defendant said can and probably will be used against him at trial. From the docket: "CONSENT TO PROCEED BEFORE US MAGISTRATE JUDGE ON A FELONY PLEA ALLOCUTION by Alexandru Radulescu... Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Valerie Figueredo: Change of Plea Hearing as to Alexandru Radulescu held on 6/23/2022. Defendant present with counsel James Branden. A.U.S.A. Samuel Rothschild present for the Government. Defendant enters a plea of Guilty to Count # 1, 2 and 6. Court reporter present. Detention continued. Trial date: 6-27-2022."

 But a co-defendant wanted severance from the trial, because of the guilty plea. It was denied (Order below) and the trial begun.

On June 28, a representative of Banco Santander was on the witness stand. He described the installation of "deep implant" card skimmers on the bank's ATMs, beginning in Richmond Hill, Queens. The trial will continue - with no severance. The Order: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Sidney H. Stein: Voir Dire held on 6/27/2022 as to Mircea Constantinescu, Nikolaos Limberatos, Alexandru Radulescu. Defendant Mircea Constantinescu present with attorney Meredith Heller; defendant Nikolaos Limberatos present with attorney Jeffrey Einhorn; defendant Alexandru Radulescu present with attorney James Branden; for the government Elizabeth Hanft, Samuel Rothschild, and Margaret Lynaugh present; court reporters Martha Martin and Sonya Moore. Defendant Radulescu is further allocuted on his guilty plea to Counts 1, 2, and 6 before Mag. Judge Figueredo on June 23. The Court accepts the guilty plea. Defendant Limberatos is further allocuted on his guilty plea to Counts 1, 2, and 4 before Judge Stein. The Court accepts Limberatos's guilty plea. For the reasons set forth on the record, defendant Constantinescu's motion to sever [Doc. No. 1137] is denied."

On July 5 in final summation the US Attorney's Office told the jurors to not speculate about why the guilty plea did not include the aggravated identity theft count they will deliberate on. Will any juror know that sentences for aggravate ID theft are two years consecutive to any other sentence?

Three were found guilty: "JURY VERDICT as to Mircea Constantinescu (1) Guilty on Count 1,2,3,4 and Nikolaos Limberatos (2) Guilty on Count 3 and Alexandru Radulescu (20) Guilty on Count 3."

On July 13, Judge Stein denied the application for release on bail pending sentencing: "as to Mircea Constantinescu: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant's motion for release pending sentencing pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3143(a)(l) is denied. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Sidney H. Stein on 7/13/2022)."

On July 20, Chief Judge Swain sentenced a co-defendant: "Defendant Peter Samolis is sentenced to 15 months of imprisonment as to Count Two (2) followed by 3 years of supervised release as to Count Two (2). The Court recommends to the BOP that the defendant be designated to the Otisville Camp facility in order to facilitate the maintenance of family ties. Defendant is to pay a special assessment of $100.00 to be paid immediately. Defendant is to pay restitution of $641,559.48 to the Clerk of Court for the Southern District of New York for disbursement as provided in the Order of Restitution. Defendant is jointly and severally liable with the co-defendant for the restitution. Defendant is to forfeit to the United States $40,000.00 as specified in the Consent Order of Forfeiture, which represents the proceeds of the defendant's criminal activity."

Docketed on October 13, 2022, another guilty plea: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Laura Taylor Swain: Plea entered by Cristian Costea (3) Guilty as to Count 4... Sentencing is scheduled for 2/15/2023 at 10:30 am. "

And another, docketed on October 19: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Laura Taylor Swain: Change of Plea Hearing as to Nicolae Daniel Pepy held on 10/18/2022. Defendant Nicolae Daniel Pepy (19) present. Romanian Interpreter Bruno Blumenfeld present.. PLEA HEARING held. Defendant sworn. Defendant withdrew not guilty plea, waived reading of the S4 Indictment and entered a plea of guilty as to Count Three (3) of the S4 Indictment. PSI ordered. Sentencing is scheduled for 12/7/2022at 11:30am. Defendant continued remanded."

In January 2022, "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Laura Taylor Swain: Sentencing held on 1/12/2022 for Theofrastos Lymberatos (6) Count 2. The Court sentences Defendant Theofrastos Lymberatos as follows: 47 months of imprisonment on Count Two. The Court recommends to BOP that Defendant be afforded the opportunity to participate in the RDAP Program, and that Defendant be designated to Fort Dix to facilitate the maintenance of family ties and RDAP participation. Voluntary Surrender at designated facility by 2pm on April 28, 2022."

Docketed on April 5, another sentencing: "JUDGMENT IN A CRIMINAL CASE as to George Caceras Ortmeier (29). The Defendant pleaded guilty to count Two (2). Counts and any underlying indictments are dismissed on the motion of the United States. IMPRISONMENT: 33 months as to Count Two (2). The court makes the following recommendations to the Bureau of Prisons: that the defendant be credited with pre-extradition time in detention in the Netherlands in connection with these charges from February 10, 2020 to April 30, 2021. SUPERVISED RELEASE: 2 years as to Count Two (2). ASSESSMENT: $100.00 due immediately. RESTITUTION: $2,533,151.57."

In late December 2021 it emerged that a co-defendant has been diagnosed with COVID and the Court has been informed: "FIRST LETTER MOTION addressed to Judge Laura Taylor Swain from Daniel S. Parker and Christina S. Cooper dated December 30, 2021 re: request Order re. emergency medical treatment and monitoring re. new COVID diagnosis. Document filed by Cristian Ulmanu. (Attachments: # (1) Exhibit Exhibit A, email from BOP 12/30, # (2) Exhibit Exhibit B, email from Gov't 12/30/21, # (3) Exhibit Exhibit C, email from USMS)." Watch this site.

 In detention in the MCC, David Georgescu was forced to insert his own catheter due to an enlarged prostate, with anesthesia. On June 18, Juneteenth, his lawyer wrote to the Court for "urgent assistance in ensuring that Mr. Georgescu is receiving needed medical care."

On August 2, Georgescu was again before the court, and Inner City Press again covered it. Now Georgescu is being appoined a non-conflicted CJA counsel on limited issue(s); the AUSA said the pole camera video can be viewed at the FBI in DC. But was Georgescu supposed to see it?

On November 15, 2021, he pleaded guilty: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang: Change of Plea Hearing as to David Georgescu held on 11/16/2021. Defendant present with counsel Donna Newman. A.U.S.A. - Robert Sobleman present for the Government. Defendant enters a plea of Guilty to Count Two of the above referenced Superseding Indictment. Mag. Judge Wang accepts the plea. Court reporter present. PSI ordered. Detention continued. Control Date: 2/11/22."

On October 8, 2021, a trial date, in 2022: "Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings as to Mircea Constantinescu, Nikolaos Limberatos, Cristian Costea, Alin Hanes Calugaru, Ionela Constantinescu, Peter Samolis, Iuliana Mihailescu, Florian Claudiu Martin, Alexandru Radulescu: Jury Trial set for 6/20/2022 at 09:30 AM before Judge Laura Taylor Swain."

 In July 2021, defendant Nikolaos Limberatos wrote to Chief Judge Swain stating that he no longer has confidence in his assigned lawyers and has terminated them.

On July 19, this: "ORDER as to Nikolaos Limberatos. Karloff C. Commissiong, Esq. and Carlos M. Santiago, Esq., are relieved as CJA counsel for the defendant. Sanford N. Talkin, Esq., is now appointed as CJA counsel for the defendant in the above-captioned matter (Signed by Judge Laura Taylor Swain on 7/19/21)."

Then on July 21, this: "ORDER as to Nikolaos Limberatos. Mr. Sanford N. Talkin, Esq is relieved as CJA counsel for the defendant. Mr. Xavier Donaldson, Esq is substituted as CJA counsel for the defendant in the above-captioned matter. (Signed by Judge Laura Taylor Swain on 7/21/21)."

  On June 8, 2021, one of the co-defendants  Robert Duczon was up for sentencing. His lawyer spoke about the harsh condition in the Hungarian prison he had awaited extradition in.

SDNY Chief Judge Swain acknowledged those hardships, but noted that a time served sentence would create disparities with the sentencing of others in the overall case.

  Judge Swain sentenced him to 22 months. The remaining time, before removal, will be served in Putnam, it seems. Judge Swain wished him well.

On June 10, for a co-defendant still in pre-trial detention in the MCC, Florian Martin, a request has been made for a one-month adjournment of the June 23 conference: "we continue to engage the government in plea negotiations and to review discovery." The US Attorney's Office consents to the adjournment. So turn the wheels.

  Including a 30th defendant into the case on a now unsealed indictment: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein: Initial Appearance as to Daniel Silvu Camaras (30) held on 9/29/2021. AUSA Robert Sobelman. Defense Counsel Gary Becker (CJA). Proceeding: Rule 9. BAIL DISPOSITION: Detention on consent without prejudice. - Speedy Trial Time excluded under 18 U.S.C. Section 3161(h)(7) until 10/28/2021."

 Inner City Press will continue to cover this. The case is US v. Constantinescu, et al., 19-cr-651 (Swain). 

***

Your support means a lot. As little as $5 a month helps keep us going and grants you access to exclusive bonus material on our Patreon page. Click here to become a patron.

sdny

Feedback: Editorial [at] innercitypress.com
SDNY Press Room 480, front cubicle
500 Pearl Street, NY NY 10007 USA

Mail: Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540



Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2019 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] innercitypress.com for