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Brass necked suspect swallows USB evidence

Police get to bottom of bank scammer

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A suspected cybercrook who swallowed a USB drive in an apparent bid to destroy evidence has been charged with obstruction.

Florin Necula, from New York, ate a Kingston flash drive thought to contain mag strip dumps from credit cards shortly after his arrest outside a bank in Queens on 21 January. He gobbled the USB drive while awaiting processing and questioning at a Secret Service office in Brooklyn.

Necula's attempts to digest the evidence resulted in a trip to a New York hospital and, four days later, a presumably delicate operation to remove the USB stick.

Necula and three associates allegedly used card skimmers to swipe credit card details from victims using a doctored ATM machine. Police recovered laptops, cameras, flash drives, and mobile phones from Necula and his three alleged co-conspirators during a raid at a Long Island City apartment they used.

Necula was later charged with four offences, including obstruction of justice, and held in jail pending further proceedings. The Smoking Gun has the full run-down on the story, including extracts from court papers, here.

Necula's desperate actions are weird but not entirely unprecedented, Cornered crooks have previously attempted to eat mobile phone SIM cards when cornered by the police. ®

Bootnote

No, the data volume of the drive wasn't recorded.

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