Three New York residents were charged last week with an indictment charging them with conspiracy, bank fraud and identity theft offenses related to an alleged participation in an ATM “skimming” scheme across southern New England.
Gabriela Graham and two citizens of Turkey, Mehmet Aydin and Ahmet Cilek, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, six counts of bank fraud and six counts of identity theft.
The indictment alleges that, between February 2011 and July 2011, Aydin, Cilek, Graham and others conspired to install “skimming” devices on automated teller machines (“ATMs”) at 11 banks and one credit union in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The devices were able to capture the information encoded on the magnetic strips of bank cards used by ATM customers. The co-conspirators also placed devices on the ATMs that contained hidden pinhole cameras, which recorded the personal identification numbers that bank customers keyed into the ATMs to gain access to their accounts.
The co-conspirators used the stolen information captured by the skimming devices and pinhole cameras to create counterfeit bank cards that allowed them to withdraw funds from the customers’ accounts.
Cilek has been detained custody since his arrest in June of 2011. While Aydin and Graham were arrested on federal criminal complaints on November 2 and November 4, 2011, respectively. Both are detained in federal custody.
The charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million, on each count. The charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory term of imprisonment of two years, which must be imposed consecutively to a sentence imposed on any other count of conviction.
The three have entered a not guilty plea to the charges.
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