As reported by Wired: Thirteen suspects have been indicted in New York on a gas station skimming scheme that netted them more than $2 million, according to court documents.
The skimming devices, placed on card readers at gas station pumps throughout the southern U.S., recorded credit and debit card data, as well as PINs, which the thieves then used to withdraw more than $2 million from ATMs. They then tried to launder the money through at least 70 different bank accounts, according to the district attorney’s office in New York County.
Some of the skimming devices were placed on pumps at Raceway and Racetrac gas stations throughout Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina. The devices were Bluetooth enabled, so the thieves could simply download the stolen data from the skimming device without having to remove it.
Between March 2012 to March 2013, they used forged cards embossed with the stolen account data to withdraw cash at ATMs in Manhattan, then deposited the money into bank accounts in New York. Co-conspirators in California and Nevada then withdrew the money from ATMs in those states. During that year, the defendants allegedly laundered about $2.1 million.
Garegin Spartalyan, 40, Aram Martirosian, 34, Hayk Dzhandzhapanyan, 40, and Davit Kudugulyan, 42 are the lead defendants in the 426-count indictment charging them with, among other things, money laundering, possession of stolen property, and possession of a forgery device.
The other defendants are each charged with two counts of money laundering.