Casper Police Arrest 2 for Over $35,000 in Credit Card Fraud
Casper police officers arrested two men Friday in connection with a large alleged credit card fraud scheme which included over 300 fraudulent ATM transactions and over $60,000 being taken.
Michael Voss, 37, was booked into jail on a charge of credit card fraud and an immigration hold. Ionut Manea, 35, was arrested on a single charge of credit card fraud. Both men will likely make their initial appearances in Natrona County Circuit Court at 2 p.m. Monday.
According to charging documents, the Casper Police Department was notified of fraudulent ATM activity at Jonah Bank on Nov. 27. The activity had occurred five days earlier from midnight through 6 p.m. and involved 70 different transactions by 17 different cards from the same credit union in Arizona. During that time, $19,600 was removed from the ATM.
Video surveillance showed two men making the transactions.
On Dec. 6, police received another report from Jonah Bank regarding fraudulent activity on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2. Two men had again used 17 different account numbers to withdraw $15,700 in cash.
The next day, a detective notified regional financial institutions of the activity and asked for assistance in identifying the two suspects. A representative from the Arizona credit union said the two men had also tried to take money from an ATM at Reliant Federal Credit Union on the night of Dec. 6. All three attempts to withdraw money were declined.
Another detective identified a suspect vehicle from video surveillance footage and located the vehicle in the parking lot of Candlewood Suites in Casper. There, he made contact with one of the suspects who was staying in a room that had been rented by Voss.
The men identified themselves as Manea and Voss. They were both interviewed at the Casper Police Department. Manea was found to have been in possession of $800 in twenty-dollar bills, while Voss had $120 in twenty-dollar bills on his person.
Inside the hotel room, detectives found the keys to two vehicles as well as a magnetic stripe reader/encoder, four cell phones, two laptops, $2,900 in twenty-dollar bills, thirty Vanilla gift cards that had magnetic stripes and four-digit codes handwritten on the backs, a Romanian passport belonging to Manea and a Danish passport in Voss's name.
The Arizona credit union told a detective that their clients' credit card numbers had been used at ATMs in Laramie, Rock Springs and Casper from Nov. 16 through Dec. 6 in a total of 352 transactions. The suspects had taken a combined $61,052, though they had attempted to withdraw $110,471.
In Natrona County, 140 transactions were made or attempted. Police note that the numbers reflect only charges made on the Arizona accounts, and only the charges made in Wyoming.
The Laramie Police Department notified a Casper detective that the same two men had made fraudulent withdrawals at ATMs in Laramie over three days in October.
Casper police believe the Arizona credit union clients' card numbers were likely compromised via a "skimming" device placed at fuel pumps at a known chain of gas stations in the Phoenix, Arizona area.
Manea and Voss are believed to be in the country legally. They were both arrested.
Police note that in Natrona County, Voss and Manea made over 70 fraudulent ATM transactions since Nov. 21 and took at least $35,000, though that number is likely to increase in both Natrona County and across multiple states as the investigation continues.