Romanians accused of stealing USD 0.7 mln from hundreds of churches in the US

A group of Romanian citizens managed to steal USD 740,000 worth of donations from hundreds of churches in the US. Four of them were arrested, and two others are wanted in what the American authorities are calling "Operation Though Shalt Not Steal," local Digi24 reported, quoting ABC News.

The four arrested men were charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, racketeering, grand theft, unlawful possession of personal identification information and money laundering.

The group, based in Orlando, reportedly stole donation checks from 636 churches throughout the United States. They deposited these checks into several bank accounts and then withdrew the money at ATMs before the banks caught on.

The group spent the money on cars, food and clothing and made high-value wire transfers to Romania, according to the US authorities.

"This low-tech yet well-organized effort to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of mailed-in charitable donations — at a time when donations may have been most needed — has been stopped," FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a press release.

irina.marica@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Jose Terrero/Dreamstime.com)

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Romanians accused of stealing USD 0.7 mln from hundreds of churches in the US

A group of Romanian citizens managed to steal USD 740,000 worth of donations from hundreds of churches in the US. Four of them were arrested, and two others are wanted in what the American authorities are calling "Operation Though Shalt Not Steal," local Digi24 reported, quoting ABC News.

The four arrested men were charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, racketeering, grand theft, unlawful possession of personal identification information and money laundering.

The group, based in Orlando, reportedly stole donation checks from 636 churches throughout the United States. They deposited these checks into several bank accounts and then withdrew the money at ATMs before the banks caught on.

The group spent the money on cars, food and clothing and made high-value wire transfers to Romania, according to the US authorities.

"This low-tech yet well-organized effort to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of mailed-in charitable donations — at a time when donations may have been most needed — has been stopped," FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a press release.

irina.marica@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Jose Terrero/Dreamstime.com)

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