According to U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser’s officer, a couple of Hungarian nationals have pleaded guilty in federal court on 29th November, after being accused of aggravated identity theft. They admitted that they have used stolen bank account information to obtain cash from Jefferson Parish bank ATMs.
According to court records, Tanase and Tekse were arrested back in 20th June by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in an apartment which the perpetrators rented via Airbnb in Metairie – can be read at Nola.com.
The case started, when detectives received reports of suspicious individuals using several debit cards to withdraw large amounts of cash from ATMs around the parish.
The authorities started their investigation and with the help of Hancock Whitney Bank, who have contributed significantly to the investigation by handing over surveillance photos to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, they were able to obtain the license plate number of a black Toyota Prius.
After a short research, the Sheriff’s Office investigators were able to identify the car’s owner, a U.S. Coast Guard, who, upon being confronted with the facts that his vehicle was spotted in a crime scene, told the investigators that he lent his car using an app, Turo, to a man named Daniel Tanase.
Being hot on the trail, the detectives were able to track down the vehicle to a Carrollton Avenue apartment where they found both members of the couple, Tanase and Tekse, who matched those on the surveillance photos. Along with the perpetrators, they found evidence of their crime as well.
Investigators acquired 81 gift cards with their PIN codes and $32,165 in cash.
Court records say that Tanase told the authorities that he found the cards and PIN codes on the ground and he then proceeded to try them at a nearby ATM to see whether they worked. Tenese had admitted that she withdrew the money from the bank’s ATM, but she did it on Tanase’s instruction.
According to her confession, Tanase invited her over to the United States and that Tanase had already owned the cards when she arrived.
Tanase and Tekse have been charged with 80 accounts of monetary instrument abuse in the Jefferson Parish district court. Carl J. Barbier, U.S. District Judge, sentenced Daniel Tanase (39) and Gabriella Tekse (31) to two years of imprisonment and one additional year of supervised release.
Unfortunately, this was not the only case where Hungarians committed crimes in foreign countries.
A few days before the arrest of the Hungarian couple, Tanase and Tekse, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office has booked a similar case. The reason for the arrest of a foreign couple from Montreal, Natasha Mehra (21) and Adlharan Aruljothy (25) was multiple accounts of bank fraud and abuse of monetary instrument. The authorities caught Mehra when she was attempting to withdraw cash from a Gretna bank utilising several cards at her disposal. Officers have found 12 debit cards with stolen bank account information and $4,000 on her person. The woman said that the cards were given to her by a man, whose identity the investigators later discovered. The man was Aruljothy, Mehra’s boyfriend.
The attorney’s office of Jefferson Parish district charged Mehra with 12 accounts of bank fraud, while the boyfriend, Aruljothy was charged with three accounts of bank fraud and one account of being a principal to bank fraud.
According to the Sheriff’s Office the two cases, although similar in kind, are not linked.
To show the bright side a little bit, here is how Hungarians will authenticate criminals in the future to help prevent major crimes..