ATLANTA - Boris Toumasian, 25, of Glendale, California, who stole credit and debit card information from BP gas station customers and then used the information to create counterfeit cards, withdraw money from the customers’ bank accounts, and buy electronics, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. to serve 5 years in federal prison on charges of conspiracy, credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft. At the conclusion of the sentencing, the judge ordered the United States Marshals to take Toumasian into custody.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case, “People don’t expect that when they swipe their credit card at a gas station, they are handing over their credit card information to crooks. Identity theft wreaks havoc on its victims, and today’s prison sentence reflects the seriousness of this crime.”
“As advances in technology continue to aid those who prey on unsuspecting members of the public, the Secret Service and its federal, state and local counterparts will continue to combine their investigative capabilities to pursue the offenders,” said Reginald G. Moore Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service - Atlanta Field Office. “As in this case, the perceived anonymity that comes from committing crimes from behind a computer screen disappears when those who victimize are brought to justice.”
Brian D. Lamkin, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta, stated: “Skimming devices such as that used by the defendant and his associates can victimize many unsuspecting people in a very short period of time. While today's sentencing was the result of an extensive and lengthy investigation, federal authorities are still pursuing others identified as being involved in this criminal scheme and any information from the public regarding their whereabouts are welcomed.”
Toumasian was sentenced to 5 years in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $86,612.73. Toumasian was convicted of these charges on October 11, 2011, after pleading guilty.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: In 2008, Toumasian worked at a BP gas station located at 11425 Haynes Bridge Road in Alpharetta, Georgia. Along with two alleged co-conspirators, Toumasian installed a skimming device at the gas station that recorded the credit and debit card numbers of customers who visited the store and used their cards. The device also recorded the customers’ personal identification numbers (PINs). Toumasian and his co-conspirators then transferred the stolen card numbers to the magnetic stripes on American Express gift cards. They used the altered gift cards to withdraw money from the customers’ bank accounts at ATMs and to purchase electronics at stores. Law enforcement has identified over 175 victims of this scheme.
On December 10, 2008, law enforcement officers executed search warrants at two apartments on Jameson Pass in Alpharetta where Toumasian lived. They found over 44 gift cards fraudulently encoded with credit and debit card information, over $50,000 cash all in $20 bills, skimming devices used to collect card data, a laptop computer with stolen account information, false fronts for ATMs and gas station pumps, a device used to encode cards with account information, and a pinhole camera used to video customers entering their PINs.
Toumasian was indicted on July 7, 2010, along with two alleged co-conspirators, Edmond Alexanyan and Karen Khalatyan. Alexanyan and Khalatyan are fugitives. Anyone with information about their whereabouts should contact the United States Secret Service at 404-331-6111, or the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 404-679-9000. Photographs of the fugitives are available upon request.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the United States Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Detectives of the Alpharetta Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorney Stephen H. McClain prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.