Three men allegedly responsible for a ATM skimming spree that resulted in the theft of debit card numbers of nearly 1,500 individuals and the loss of over $285,000 in fraudulent transactions have been indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney.
Nikolai Ivanov, 31, Iordan Ivanov, 24 and Dimitar Stamatov, 28, stand accused of having descended from Canada to New York and planted a number of pre-assembled skimming devices – cameras for recording PINs and plastic lips to intercept card numbers – on four ATMs around Union Square (a particularly busy part of Manhattan).
They planted the recording devices on two separate occasions – once in January 2011 and the second time in May. They used the stolen information to clone the cards and used them to withdraw cash at other ATM machines and for POS purchases, but sent most of the money to individuals in their native Bulgaria.
Nikolai Ivanov and Stamatov were arrested on May 24, while they were intent on retrieving the skimming devices from an ATM on Broadway Street. Iordan Ivanov returned to Canada that morning, and he is still at large. He is a naturalized Canadian citizens, and the U.S. Department of Justice has already started the procedure that will, hopefully, result in him being caught and extradited to the U.S.
“All three defendants are charged with Scheme to Defraud, Burglary, Criminal Possession of Forgery Devices, Grand Larceny, and Petit Larceny; Nikolai Ivanov and Stamatov are additionally charged with Identity Theft,” says in the press release issued by the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
Nikolai Ivanov and Stamatov plead not guilty at the arraignment.