Accused of ATM skimmer scam
A lengthy trial, in which a man is accused of installing a card skimming device at a bank ATM in Blairgowrie more than four years ago, looks set to have been avoided.
Perth Sheriff Court was told on Monday this week that 33-year-old Alexandru Bizau was “eager to seek a resolution”to an 18-charge indictment by way of an agreed plea with the prosecution.
Depute fiscal John Malpass said he had discussed the matter with the accused’s lawyer who anticipated there should be no need for a trial.
More than 40 prosecution witnesses had been lined up by the Crown and there were scores of productions in the case which was expected to last at least five days.
Bizau, described as a prisoner at Perth, is accused of installing a device in the card reader of an automated teller machine (ATM) at the Co-op, Perth Road, Blairgowrie, while acting with another unnamed individual, on July 16, 2013.
He is then said to have attached a video recording device above the PIN pad and attempted to obtain bank cards and their associated numbers with the intention of using them to fraudulently obtain goods, services and money.
He also faces charges of stealing bank cards from other machines in Auchterarder, Arbroath, Callander and Kirriemuir and on four occasions using their PIN numbers to obtain more than £2000 from the automated machines.
In addition, he is said to have fraudulently used debit cards to obtain goods worth almost £1600 at various outlets in Perthshire and Angus.
They allegedly include Ellie’s Cellar, High Street, Auchterarder (£612), the Spar, Auchterarder (£238) and Lloyds Pharmacy, also Auchterarder (£115 and £622).
Some of the charges, said to have taken place between July 16 and September 16, 2013, allege that the accused was acting with other unnamed individuals at the time.
A final charge alleges that Bizau failed to turn up for a Perth court appearance on July 24, 2014, after he had been granted bail on September 25, 2013.
A further court hearing was arranged for October 31 and Bizau was remanded in custody.
No bail application was made on his behalf.
out event and training day at the Perth Racecourse – including several hailing from east Perthshire.
Presentations included policies affecting land-based businesses, land reform, rural planning, agricultural holidays, and discussing new legislation for residential landlords.
Other workshops included energy efficiency in traditional buildings, the electronic communications code, and renewable energy.
Sarah-Jane Laing, executive director of Scottish Land and Estates (SLE), said: “Policy and legislation affecting rural businesses is constantly evolving and it is vital that land managers are fully up to speed with the political and legislative landscape.
“We were pleased to welcome land managers from right across Scotland to the event and it is clear from lively discussions that there is a continued desire to improve business practice and explore opportunities for business growth. The Scottish countryside remains very much open for business.”
Clive Phillips, head of land and rural business at Brodies LLP, added: “Rural Scotland is facing major challenges and opportunities with Brexit and land reform on the agenda.
“The rural sector is a valuable part of the Scottish economy and has the potential to become even more so. Therefore it is important that the sector can attract and retain the very best land managers for the future. Brodies is delighted to support this event in sharing knowledge with those who are leading the sector forward.”
Mark Fogden, Savills’ head of estate management, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this important event as now, more than ever, land managers need to stay on top of their game.
“After a relatively quiet year to date, the sector is dealing with a raft of new issues from sporting rates, many of which will need to be appealed, to the introduction of the private residential tenancy and the modern limited duration tenancy.
He added: “Change is undoubtedly in the air, but this can be as much a great opportunity as it is a challenge - a chance to entrepreneurial land managers to transform and improve rural business.”