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David Kihara

Credit Card Con Artists Plead Guilty

15 July 2005

NEVADA -- Two men with reported ties to Romanian crime rings pleaded guilty Thursday to separate charges involving stolen credit cards and false documents allegedly used to steal upward of $1million from casinos and ATMs.

Cosmin Radu Hristian pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to use the stolen credit cards, while Constantin Bor pleaded guilty to a federal RICO racketeering charge, their lawyers said on Thursday.

Ozzie Fumo, the attorney for Bor, said his client was a "lower level player" who acted as a collector of the credit cards and wasn't a leader or organizer in the scheme.

Bor was arrested in Chicago in January and was extradited to Las Vegas, Fumo said.

The men were part of a group of 21 suspects indicted by a federal grand jury in May.

The group is accused of sending out "runners" throughout the United States to steal credit cards and bring them to Las Vegas. The group then allegedly used the credit cards along with fake driver's licenses to get cash advances from casinos and ATMs.

The U.S. attorney's office estimated previously that the group may have netted more than $1 million in their scam.

At least 10 of the accused are still at large, said Natalie Collins, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office.

Seven suspects have already pleaded guilty in federal court and are scheduled to be sentenced in August, Collins said.

One suspect who was previously released on bond, Nicolae Dragoi, fled and is still at large, she said.