October 9, By Tara Law
Two Woodside men were charged last week after police uncovered their ATM skimming scheme and found them in possession of hundreds of forged credit cards, skimming devices and nearly $20,000 in cash, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
Bogdan Stoica, 36, and Janos Mihalka, 36, who both live on 45th Street in Woodside, were allegedly caught on video between July and September at seven banks installing and, in some instances, attempting to remove skimming devices from the ATMs, according to the Queens DA.
The skimming devices, which read bank card numbers and can obtain PIN numbers, were then copied onto blank credit and debit cards.
The police have footage of the men trying to remove skimming devices at Santander bank on Union Turnpike on July 20, 2017; TD Bank on Hillside Avenue on July 21, 2017; TD Bank on Northern Boulevard on August 2, 2017; at a TD Bank on Metropolitan Avenue on August 3, 2017; and at the Teachers Federal Credit Union on August 17, 2017, according to the Queens DA.
The men allegedly repeated the skimming scheme at a Capital One bank on Queens Boulevard on August 3rd, September 18th and September 20th of this year.
Stoica and Mihalka allegedly used a forged card to access a woman’s TD Bank account and withdrew $383 and $363 from her savings on Aug. 17.
The police raided Stoica and Mihalka’s 45th Street Woodside residence and seized 300 forged credit and debit cards, nearly $20,000 cash and skimming devices.
The men face a plethora of charges, including second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, criminal possession of forgery devices, and first- and second-degree identity theft.
Bail was set at $1.5 million bond or $1 million cash and the men ordered to return to court on Oct. 17. The defendants face up to seven years in prison.
“These kinds of credit card schemes cost hard-working individuals not just money, but time and aggravation trying to remove the damage they cause to their credit scores. This stealth thievery will not be tolerated in Queens County,” said Queens DA Richard Brown in a statement.