A Romanian man arrested in England and extradited from London to Nashville on charges of selling more than 1,000 credit card account numbers introduced a bit of international legal nuance to his arraignment in federal court Monday.
According to court documents, Florin N. Ghiurca Muresan, 27, sent data to an undercover U.S. Secret Service agent pertaining to some 600 credit card accounts in April 2009. He was transported to Nashville this weekend after an initial arrest by British authorities in June based on a federal grand jury indictment. When Magistrate Judge Juliet Griffin informed Muresan that the crime he was accused of carried a maximum sentence of 10 years, he said through his interpreter, ”Oh my God. Of course, I understand.”
He reminded Griffin, however, that because of his extradition he can’t be charged with anything else. Once a person has been surrendered for extradition, that person can only be charged for the crime for which he was extradited. Muresan pleaded not guilty.
“The facts of this case demonstrate that those who engage in credit card fraud via the Internet are largely unconcerned with national boundaries,” said U.S. Attorney Ed Yarbrough. “The case also demonstrates that when foreign violators are identified and can be located, the international law enforcement community and foreign courts will often lend their assistance to our efforts to bring such violators to justice. We are truly grateful in this case for help in that regard from the British authorities.”
Muresan’s journey from Eastern Europe to Music City began in March 2009 when he began communicating with undercover Secret Service agent Jeremy Herndon through a Web site frequented by Internet fraudsters looking to coordinate. Under the Internet handle “Slim1210”, Muresan allegedly told Herndon that he “cashes out dumps,” meaning he takes valid credit card information to create counterfeit cards, which can be used to get cash from banks or ATMs, the criminal complaint says.
Herndon says Muresan offered to split the proceeds if the agent could provide the data. In mid-March, Herndon sent Muresan credit card data for accounts purchased by the government. Through the email, authorities were able to track Muresan’s IP address. True to his word, Muresan sent Herndon’s half of the proceeds from a Western Union in Zalau, Romania, court documents say. With the name on the money wire, federal agents were able to find an Illinois driver’s license for Muresan, who’d apparently visited Chicago before.