Springfield Man Admits Role in ATM "Jackpotting" Scheme
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ARGENYS RODRIGUEZ, 22, of Springfield, Massachusetts, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud stemming from an ATM “jackpotting” scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, law enforcement agencies and ATM manufacturers have been investigating malware attacks on ATM machines in Connecticut and elsewhere. In a scheme commonly referred to as “jackpotting,” individuals use malware that is designed to cause an ATM to eject all of the U.S. currency contained in the machine. As part of the scheme, individuals dressed as legitimate repair technicians install malware on an ATM. Other individuals then proceed to extract all of the cash from the ATM.
On January 27, 2018, Citizens Bank investigators contacted police after they observed what appeared to be a jackpotting attack on an ATM in Cromwell. On that date, Cromwell Police encountered RODRIGUEZ and Alex Alberto Fajin-Diaz near an ATM that had been compromised with malware and was in the process of dispensing $20 bills. A search of RODRIGUEZ and Fajin-Diaz’s vehicle revealed tools and electronic devices consistent with items needed to compromise an ATM machine to dispense its cash contents. RODRIGUEZ and Fajin-Diaz were found in possession of approximately $5,600 in cash, but the investigation revealed that a total of $63,200 was taken from the ATM on that date.
The investigation further revealed that, on January 22, 2018, RODRIGUEZ, Fajin-Diaz and others illegally obtained $63,820 from a Citizens Bank ATM in Rhode Island.
RODRIGUEZ is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on September 26, 2018, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years. RODRIGUEZ is released on a $250,000 bond pending sentencing.
Fajin-Diaz, 32, a citizen of Spain, pleaded guilty to the same charge on June 12, 2018, and awaits sentencing. He has been detained since his arrest on January 27.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, U.S. Secret Service, Connecticut State Police, Chief State’s Attorney’s Office, Middlesex State’s Attorney’s Office, Cromwell Police Department, Middletown Police Department and Greenwich Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Miller.