News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Leader Of Canada Based Debit Card Skimming Ring Sentenced
To 5 Years In Prison

Skimmed Debit Card and PIN Info at Various Coffee Shops in Vancouver B.C.

October 4, 2013

            A Canadian caught with more than 2600 stolen debit card numbers on his laptop computer was sentenced to five years in prison for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  DENNIS NGUYEN, of Vancouver, B.C. Canada was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman on October 4, 2013.  NGUYEN was arrested in February 2013, after he traveled to Seattle to meet with some of the conspirators he used to make cash withdrawals using the stolen debit card numbers.  The investigation revealed the numbers had been stolen using “skimming” devices surreptitiously attached to point of sale machines in coffee shops in Vancouver, BC.

            The investigation revealed that NGUYEN directed various co-conspirators who would take the debit cards he manufactured with the stolen information and conduct rapid cash withdrawals from customer accounts at various ATMs in and around Seattle and Everett.  When two of the co-conspirators were arrested, law enforcement seized a bag containing $77,140 in cash, 460 counterfeit cards, seven burner cell phones, a cash counting machine, a magnetic card strip encoder, a label printer, and miscellaneous supplies associated with the mass card skimming operation.  When NGUYEN was arrested, his laptop computer, which he brought from British Columbia, contained over 2,600 bank card numbers linked to approximately 100 different financial institutions, both foreign and American.  Of those card numbers, approximately 463 were connected to fraudulent cards previously recovered in the case.

            The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven Masada.

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