The St. John Sheriff’s Office Cyber/Financial Crimes Unit was presented the Louisiana Forgery & Fraud Investigators Association’s 2024 Case Award for outstanding commitment and investigative work, making a significant contribution to the protection of consumers in the state.

On behalf of SJSO Cyber/Financial Crimes Unit, Lt. Michael Shard accepted the award during the LAFFIA’s 2024 annual conference, April 24-26, 2024, at the Horseshoe Hotel and Casino in Bossier City. With Sheriff Tregre are Det. Denis James, Det. Michael D’Amato and Lt. Shard.

In October 2023, several law enforcement agencies in the New Orleans area began receiving complaints from area businesses in reference to skimmers used to steal credit card data from point of sale (POS) terminals. Subsequently, St. John Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division took a report for a similar case involving skimmers. Local agencies had shared information that similar suspects and a rental vehicle were involved with placing POS skimmers.

Through the completion of the case investigation, two male subjects, Daniel Iulian Teutoc and Calin Constantin, were identified as suspects traveling in a rented vehicle.

Det. Denis James, with the use of the Flock system, an investigative tool for vehicle identification, located the vehicle in the New Orleans area on November 1, 2023. After SJSO detectives relayed this information to the New Orleans Police Department and the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office, NOPD stopped the vehicle in a parking lot of a business in New Orleans. Teutoc and Constantin were detained and identified based on the active investigation. Det. James and Lt. Shard responded to further assist and investigate these incidents.

Teutoc was arrested via NOPD as a fugitive from area law enforcement agencies. Constantin had warrants issued after the fact for his arrest after further investigation from regional law enforcement as an additional offender.

After the execution of court ordered search warrants, Lt. Shard, Det. James and Det. Michael D’Amato, searched the rental vehicle and other seized evidence, including the suspects’ cell phones, which resulted in the discovery of pertinent evidence linked to the cases.

Constantin has active warrants from multiple state agencies for violations of the Anti-Skimming Act and conspiracy. Constantin is currently being sought by law enforcement. Teutoc is wanted in several countries for similar crimes and is currently detained in Ascension Parish for multiple violations of the Anti-Skimming Act and conspiracy.

As of April 2024, many municipalities in Louisiana and Texas have active cases due to the skimmer recoveries and are working to further investigate all cases. The Louisiana Cyber Fraud Task Force, New Orleans and Southwest Louisiana Cyber Fraud Task Force-Baton Rouge were involved with the active case investigations as well.

The number of victims is too numerous to count at this time and is still being compiled.

Lt. Shard also was selected the 2024-25 LAFFIA president, and the 2025 conference will be hosted by the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office.