NEW LONDON WOMAN SENTENCED TO 45 MONTHS IN
FEDERAL PRISON FOR ROLE IN ATM “SKIMMING” SCHEME
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that GABRIELLA GRAHAM, 21, of New London, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 45 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for her 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, GRAHAM, Mehmet Aydin, Ahmet 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.
GRAHAM helped produce counterfeit ATM cards, wrote pin numbers of the backs of the cards and, on occasion, used the cards to make unauthorized withdrawals from ATMs. She also served as a lookout while her co-conspirators installed and removed the skimming devices, and made unauthorized withdrawals from accounts.
As a result of this scheme, approximately 500 bank accounts were victimized, and financial institutions have suffered losses of approximately $336,057.64. As part of her sentence, GRAHAM was ordered to make full restitution, jointly and severally with her co-defendants.
On December 19, 2011, GRAHAM pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Aydin and Cilek have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
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. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.
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