Man who helped place ATM-skimmers across Southwest, Central Virginia, stole more than $300k, sentenced to prison

He was ordered to pay $351,642 in restitution to the impacted banks

Marius Catalui (Western Virginia Regional Jail)

ROANOKE, Va. – A 47-year-old Romanian national who pleaded guilty to being part of an ATM-skimming conspiracy targeting parts of Southwest and Central Virginia will spend the next 2.5 years in prison and have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution.

Marius Catalui was sentenced in federal court on Monday for one count of access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

In addition to his prison time, Catalui was ordered to pay $351,642 in restitution to the impacted banks.

In June 2021, as part of a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to two of the 23 counts on which a grand jury indicted him.

In the criminal complaint against Catauli, the Secret Service agent investigating Catauli’s crimes said that the group Catauli was part of placed skimming decis on ATMs in the following 11 areas: Appomattox County, Campbell County, Henry County, Mars Hill (North Carolina), Montgomery County, Raleigh County (West Virginia), Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Rocky Mount, Sophia (West Virginia) and Vinton.

In December 2018 and February 2019, ATM surveillance video showed Catalui checking on skimmers installed at Member One locations in Southwest Roanoke and Vinton.

Catalui and his cohorts stole customers’ PINs and account numbers, re-encoded the information onto blank plastic cards, and then used those cards to withdraw over $300,000 before being apprehended, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia.

The United States Secret Service, the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office, the Roanoke County Police Department, the Campbell County Police Department, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the Farmville Police Department, the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office, the Blacksburg Police Department, and the Lynchburg Police Department investigated the case.