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Indictment Unsealed In MTA Skimming Case

DA Spokesman: 5th Suspect Charged But Fled U.S.
Long Island Railroad ticket machine (credit: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

Long Island Railroad ticket machine (credit: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

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New York (CBSNewYork) – Charges were upgraded Monday against four Romanian nationals accused of putting cameras and “skimming” devices on MTA ticket machines in order to steal financial information from Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North riders.

Niculae Petre, 45, Dorin Husa, 37, Valer Zaharia, 38, and Teodora Zaharia, 27, are accused of stealing customers’ PIN numbers and other financial information from at least six train stations.

In an indictment that was unsealed in Mineola, a fifth suspect was charged in the case but is said to have fled the country.

As 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported, prosecutors also revealed the discovery of a second apartment where thousands of debit card numbers and pin numbers were found.

The indictment identified 11 banks that have reported losses, including JPMorgan Chase, which reported losing at least $74,000 from cloned debit cards, Rivera said.

“The investigation is ongoing.  And the more we look, the more we find,” Nassau County District Attorney spokesman Shams Tarek said of the case.

The defense attorney for Teodora Zaharia says his client is terrified but that she has a law degree from Romania and “intends to vigorously defend against the charges.”

The MTA has said that skimmers and cameras were removed from machines in Queens, Westchester and Long Island.

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