CITIZEN OF TURKEY ADMITS ROLE IN ATM “SKIMMING” SCHEME
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that AHMET CILEK, 42, a citizen of Turkey last residing in Levittown, N.Y., pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft stemming from his participation in an ATM “skimming” scheme across southern New England.
According to court documents and statements made in court, between February 2011 and July 2011, CILEK 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.
As a result of this scheme, more than 250 bank accounts were victimized, and financial institutions have suffered losses of approximately $336,057.64.
CILEK is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz on July 2, 2012, in New Haven, at which time CILEK faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million on the conspiracy charge, and a consecutive two-year term of imprisonment on the identity theft charge.
CILEK has been detained since his arrest in Darien on June 20, 2011.
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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