Two Men Charged in ATM "Jackpotting" Scheme
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that ALEX ALBERTO FAJIN-DIAZ, 31, a citizen of Spain, and ARGENYS RODRIGUEZ, 21, of Springfield, Massachusetts, have been charged by federal criminal complaint with bank fraud stemming from an alleged ATM “jackpotting” scheme.
FAJIN-DIAZ and RODRIGUEZ were arrested on related state charges on January 27. They appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford and are detained.
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.
As alleged in the criminal complaint, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have been investigating recent jackpotting attacks on ATMs in Hamden and Guilford, as well as Providence, Rhode Island. On January 27, 2018, Citizens Bank investigators contacted police after they observed what appeared to be an attack on an ATM in Cromwell. On that date, Cromwell Police encountered FAJIN-DIAZ and RODRIGUEZ near an ATM that had been compromised with jackpotting malware and was in the process of dispensing $20 bills. A search of FAJIN-DIAZ and RODRIGUEZ’s vehicle, which had a license plate that was assigned to another vehicle, revealed tools and electronic devices consistent with items needed to compromise an ATM machine to dispense its cash contents. FAJI-DIAZ and RODRIGUEZ also possessed more than $9,000 in $20 bills.
The charge of bank fraud carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years.
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Connecticut Computer 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, Greenwich Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Miller.