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Two Romanians Plead Guilty to Hacking Subway, other Stores

By John Wagley

Two Romanian men have pled guilty to participating in a multimillion dollar scheme to steal payment card data from hundreds of Subway restaurants and other merchants, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The men were among four Romanians who were extradited in May after being charged last December with hacking into merchant point-of-sale (POS) computers between 2009 and 2011. Losses from the scheme were over $10 million, the DOJ said.

Iulian Dolan, 29, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit access device fraud. Cezer Butu, 27, plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud. Dolan has agreed to serve a seven-year sentence; Butu agreed to serve 21 months.

Dolan admitted that he hacked into the POS systems along with a co-conspirator, Adrian-Tiberiu Oprea, who is in U.S. custody and awaiting trial. Dolan then installed keystroke-stealing software into the systems to collect payment data. He later hacked back into the system on occasion to gather the data that had been collected.

Dolan knew that Oprea attempted to use the card data to make charges on, or transfer funds from, accounts, according to the DOJ. He also knew that Oprea attempted to sell or provide others with the card data to use in a similar manner, the DOJ said. Dolan stole payment card data belonging to approximately 6,000 cardholders, the statement said.

Butu admitted to asking for and receiving card data, according to the DOJ. He later attempted to use the stolen card data to make unauthorized charges on, or funds transfers from, the accounts. He also attempted to sell or otherwise provide the data to other co-conspirators, the DOJ said.


♦ Photo by Flickr/oddpodzphotos2

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