Romanian mother refused bail at tearful hearing

| 24/03/2015 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A Romanian woman who is alleged to be part of a credit card scam was refused bail on Friday and remanded back to Fairbanks prison following an emotional hearing in which her boyfriend tried to plead her innocence. Mariana Oprinoiu has denied conspiring with her boyfriend, Florin Roata, and two others to steal thousands of dollars from local retail banks using scammed cards in ATMs. While the others have admitted their part in the conspiracy, all three men had written to the court saying Oprinoiu is innocent.

However, the crown is not convinced that the woman, who is the mother of a small child, is an innocent bystander in the scam, maintaining that evidence connecting her to the fraud was found in her underwear.

Oprinoiu, who wept openly through the hearing, has been separated from her child, who is understood to be in Romania, since the alleged criminal gang was arrested in December. Having persistently denied her client’s part in the scam Amelia Fosuhene from local attorney’s James Stenning and Associates, asked the court to consider granting bail as she said Oprinoiu could be helped with accommodation by the Romanian Embassy in Jamaica while she awaits trial later this year.

The crown objected, pointing to the flight risk as well as the serious nature of the allegations. Toyin Salako, who is prosecuting the case, said that the word of her co-conspirators that she was not involved was not sufficient.

As a result she was refused bail by the presiding judge, Justice Charles Quin, and remanded to return to court next month.

Two of the men involved in the case, Roland Pop and Ianaca Vismos, are scheduled to be sentenced on 31 March. They have admitted conspiracy to defraud and money laundering charges in relation to the theft of around US$100,000 but have denied stealing the money. Roata has admitted conspiracy but also denied stealing any cash or money laundering. As a result, the crown may press on with the case at trial with his girlfriend Oprinoiu, who has denied all charges.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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