NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Thieves planted devices on gas pumps to copy credit and bank card numbers and used the data to steal more than $2 million in a scheme that hopscotched from the Southeast to New York City to the West Coast, prosecutors say.
Four suspects pleaded not guilty to money laundering and other charges Tuesday in Manhattan. Nine others were being arrested. A lawyer for accused ringleader Davit Kudugulyan declined to comment.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said the group somehow installed devices that captured card and PIN numbers inside pumps at gas stations in Georgia, South Carolina and Texas.
Prosecutors say the scammers then forged new cards, withdrew cash from Manhattan ATMs, deposited it in bank accounts and withdrew it again from banks in California and Nevada.
Kudugulyan; Garegin Spartalyan, 40; Aram Martirosian, 34; and Hayk Dzhandzhapanyan, 40, are charged in a 426-count indictment with money laundering, criminal possession of stolen property, grand larceny, criminal possession of a forgery device and criminal possession of forged instruments.
“By using skimming devices planted inside gas station pumps, these defendants are accused of fueling the fastest growing crime in the country,” Vance said in a news release. “Cybercriminals and identity thieves are not limited to any geographic region, working throughout the world behind computers.”
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
- De Blasio, Albanese Spar Over Mass Transit, Homelessness, Other Issues
- Bronx Girl, 11, Speaks Out After Being Scalded With Boiling Water
- ‘I’d Buy An Island:’ Powerball Players Dream Big As Jackpot Soars To $758.7 Million
- Missing Swimmer Pulled From Water In Far Rockaway, Queens Dies
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)