Romanian Pleads Guilty to Phishing-related Charges

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A Romanian man pleaded guilty earlier this week to charges related to possession of stolen credit card information obtained from fraudulent Web sites.

Sergiu Daniel Popa was accused of holding the personal and financial data of thousands of people in two Yahoo e-mail accounts as well as selling toolkits used to set up phishing Web sites in order to steal data, according to court documents.

Popa also offered to sell personal data along with hardware devices to create fraudulent credit cards encoded with victims' real account information, prosecutors alleged. Popa had a machine for imprinting graphics on blank white cards and foil ribbons for making holograms for fake credit cards.

Popa pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to one count related to the possession of personal details of 21 people.

Prosecutors dropped two more counts of the same charge, which alleged he additionally held the details of 6,000 more people. Popa also pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft, according to a court official in Minneapolis.

A sentencing date has not been scheduled, the official said.

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