2 arrested in metro-wide EBT theft cases

2 arrested in metro-wide EBT theft cases

2 arrested in metro-wide EBT theft cases

There’s been a major break in the metro-wide investigation into reports of public food benefits being stolen off the Electronic Benefit Transfer cards impacting Minnesota families.

Two men have been charged in Ramsey County Court with several counts of identity theft, theft by swindle and wrongfully obtaining public assistance theft involving EBT cards, according to criminal complaints.

Law enforcement allege the suspects “travel across the United States committing EBT theft related crimes,” according to court documents.

Iulian Irimiea, 43, of Castellón, Spain, and George Dimuleasa, 33, a Romanian national who did not have a permanent address, were both booked in a Los Angeles jail Thursday night on Minnesota warrants, according to online records.

RELATED: Search warrants shed light on metro-wide EBT skimming investigation

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension financial crimes unit reports they’ve been investigating more than 120 reports of EBT theft across the metro since November, with more reports coming in daily.
The investigation looked into two suspects “installing card skimmers, collecting account info, replicating EBT card numbers onto new cards, and then withdrawing EBT cash benefits from ATMs,” according to records.

The charging documents allege a rental car captured on a store’s surveillance camera helped investigators piece the case together.

State law enforcement tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS this remains an active investigation.

Court records indicate the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office dismissed charges against Dimuleasa in the “interests of justice” on Feb. 13.