A Romanian national who operated an identity theft ring pleaded guilty in federal court to the charges. Cosmin Mihai Cozma, who is in the US illegally, allegedly placed skimmers on Los Angeles area ATMs beginning in 2012.
Cozma is among five defendants that a federal grand jury indicted last month. The group targeted Los Angeles area credit unions. Authorities believe the crew operated between 2012 and April of this year. Three defendants have already pleaded guilty or have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy. In addition to identity crimes, Cozma also faces a charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
As part of his plea agreement, Cozma agreed to forfeit $139,000 in cash and a Hublot watch of significant value. Cozma holds a Romanian passport, but also holds a Danish passport using the name “Dominic Anderson.” Federal authorities successfully argued that Cozma should be held without bail because he posed a significant flight risk. In addition, he has a history of entering the country illegally.
Federal authorities have agreed to a 10-year sentence on the conspiracy charge, despite the crime’s potential 30-year maximum. Following the completion of his sentence, federal authorities will begin deportation proceedings.
Los Angeles identity theft attorney
When you face identity theft charges, hire an experienced identity theft attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal courtroom defense. He takes federal cases in any circuit in the United States. He also takes cases in state courts in Southern California.
The federal authorities pay particular attention to identity theft and related offenses. Identity theft often signals other, potentially more lucrative crimes. Mr. Helfend’s first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will work toward the best possible outcome for your case.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County identity theft case.
Photo Credit: Tax Credits, via Flickr.com