Two men admitted to being part of a scam to steal financial information from Long Island Railroad passengers using hidden cameras and credit card skimmers, announced the Nassau County District Attorney.
Dorin Husa, 37, and Niculae Petre, 45, both of Elmhurst, pleaded guilty Friday to one count each of criminal possession of forgery devices.
Prosecutors have asked for a one-year jail sentence for both defendants on top of forfeiting $7,000 in cash found in their apartment.
Husa and Petre were part of a four-person team whose plan was discovered in October. The scam involved placing pinhole cameras, hidden inside black metal strips, over the keypads on nine different ticket vending machines on Long Island and Westchester. Combining the cameras with skimming devices, the quartet were able to capture PIN codes and card information and stealing thousands of dollars from more than 50 bank accounts.
Police were alerted of the scam after a customer discovered a small video camera on the floor at a LIRR station Oct. 18. Cops combed through Long Island's machines and found cameras at Sea Cliff, Bayside, Great Neck, Merrillon Avenue, and Greenvale stations. After searching through the entire 278 ticket vending machines in the LIRR system, three additional cameras were discovered at the Chappequa station.
Cops were in touch with banks to alert them of the scam so they could notify possible victims.
Their accomplices, Valer Zaharia, 38, his wife, Teodora Zaharia, 27, were taken into custody after they were caught retrieving two skimmer devices and two hidden cameras from the Sea Cliff LIRR station, said the DA.
An investigation led authorities to Husa and Petre in their Elmhurst apartment.Husa and Petre are due to be sentenced April 25.