Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force:
THREE INDIVIDUALS CHARGED WITH
PARTICIPATING IN ATM “SKIMMING” SCHEME IN NEW ENGLAND
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven has returned an indictment charging three New York residents with conspiracy, bank fraud and identity theft offenses related to their alleged participation in an ATM “skimming” scheme across southern New England.
On November 15, 2011, the grand jury returned a 13-count indictment charging MEHMET AYDIN, 42, a citizen of Turkey last residing in Miller Place, N.Y.; AHMET CILEK, 40, a citizen of Turkey last residing in Levittown, N.Y., and GABRIELLA GRAHAM, 21, of Miller Place, N.Y., each with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, six counts of bank fraud and six counts of identity theft. CILEK and GRAHAM had formerly resided in New London, Conn. Today, the three defendants appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport and entered a plea of not guilty to the charges.
The indictment alleges that, between February 2011 and July 2011, AYDIN, CILEK, GRAHAM and others conspired to install “skimming” devices on automated teller machines (“ATMs”) at 11 banks and one credit union in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The devices were able to capture the information encoded on the magnetic strips of bank cards used by ATM customers. The co-conspirators also placed devices on the ATMs that contained hidden pinhole cameras, which recorded the personal identification numbers that bank customers keyed into the ATMs to gain access to their accounts. The co-conspirators used the stolen information captured by the skimming devices and pinhole cameras to create counterfeit bank cards that allowed them to withdraw funds from the customers’ accounts.
CILEK has been detained in state custody since his arrest in Darien on June 20, 2011. AYDIN and GRAHAM were arrested on federal criminal complaints on November 2 and November 4, 2011, respectively. Both are detained in federal custody.
The charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million, on each count. The charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory term of imprisonment of two years, which must be imposed consecutively to a sentence imposed on any other count of conviction.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Each defendant is entitled to a fair trial at which it is the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This investigation has been conducted by the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, which includes members of the United States Secret Service; the United States Postal Inspection Service; the United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security; the Connecticut State Police; and the Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hartford, New Haven and Shelton Police Departments. U.S. Attorney Fein specifically recognized the efforts of the Greenwich Police Department, Darien Police Department, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Office of Fraud Detection and National Security, and U.S. Secret Service in Boston and Providence for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Douglas P. Morabito.
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