Two men have been indicted in Manhattan on charges they operated a nationwide ATM skimming ring that defrauded bank customers out of more than $3 million, the U.S. attorney’s office has announced.
Federal prosecutors said in a news release Monday that Antonio Gabor, 30, of Denmark and Simion Pintillie, 32, of Romania led a racket that between April and December 2012 placed credit card skimmers and tiny video cameras on ATMs in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Wisconsin.
The men were charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, each faces more than 40 years in prison.
In total, the operation was responsible for more than 50 skimming incidents that compromised more than 6,000 bank accounts, prosecutors said. At least nine other co-conspirators got in on the action, but it was Gabor and Pintillie who were in charge.
Gabor acquired the skimming devices from Hungary. They were clandestinely inserted into the targeted ATMs and used to record bank account data when victims withdrew money. So-called “pin hole” cameras also were installed to capture users’ PIN codes as they typed them on the cash machine keypad.
Prosecutors said that after a certain time period, the co-conspirators would return to the ATMs, which were set up at Chase and Capital One banks, to remove the equipment and return them to Gabor and Pintillie, who then used the stolen information to create cloned credit cards.
Aside from the gang targeting banks in New York, Gabor and Pintillie also rented a self-storage facility in Queens, where they stashed video footage and gear used to perpetrate the fraud, prosecutors said.