A third defendant accused of participating in an ATM skimming spree that hit banks in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island has pleaded guilty.
Turkish citizen Mehmet Aydin, 41, whose last residence was Miller Place, N.Y., admitted to one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to a news release last week from the U.S. attorney's office in Connecticut.
Prosecutors said members of the racket fitted skimming devices and PIN-reading cameras on cash machines at 11 banks and credit unions. In total, 250 accounts were victimized, resulting in fraud losses of more than $336,000.
Ahmet Cilek, 42, and Gabriella Coleman, in her early 20s, already have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Aydin faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the conspiracy charge, and two years for the ID theft charge.
Skimming devices are sometimes difficult to detect by the untrained eye, and typically contain a reader, which registers the card number as it is swiped, and a camera, which records the customer's PIN as it is entered on the keypad. After a short time the fraudsters retrieve the equipment and use the stolen data to create fake cards, which they use to withdraw money from ATMs.