Thursday, November 21, 2013
The office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York reported that six more individuals were arrested and charged with participating in a sophisticated, continent-spanning ATM fraud scheme perpetrated in 2012 and earlier this year. The purported scheme, which involved prepaid card accounts hacked at two banks in the Middle East, netted fraudsters $45 million.
According to media reports, five men and one woman were arrested on Nov. 18, 2013, adding to the seven others arrested last May. Like the previous arrestees, the recently indicted individuals were residents of Yonkers, N.Y.
The individuals are alleged to have operated as "money mules" or "cashers" in the scam. After the payment processing systems of two Middle Eastern banks were hacked and withdrawal limits on prepaid card accounts were raised, the defendants hit ATMs with prepaid cards imprinted with the hacked account numbers and reportedly withdrew approximately $2.8 million from over 140 ATMs in New York City.
In the Brooklyn federal court, the defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit access device fraud; they pleaded not guilty to the charges. Each defendant reportedly faces up to 7.5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
For more information about the scam and the earlier indictments, see "Prepaid fraudsters busted," SellingPrepaid, May 17, 2013, issue 13:05:A.
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