Man Sentenced to Fraud For ATM Theft Scam

A man was sentenced this week to three years and eight months in state prison for an ATM skimming identity theft scam that spanned seven California counties from Santa Clara to San Diego, according to the attorney general’s office.

Gervork Aroutiounyan, 48, was sentenced Wednesday and a co-conspirator, Gnel Snapyan, 35, is scheduled to be sentenced on June 15.

Both pleaded guilty on March 1 to one count of conspiracy to commit grand theft, computer access fraud, identity theft, second-degree burglary and forgery of access cards.

The scam was first noticed by police in San Luis Obispo, and after investigating, gathered evidence that the defendants had replaced card readers at Chase Bank ATMs allowing them to retrieve customers’ card information, and installed micro cameras to capture their PIN entry.

The stolen information was used to withdraw $320,728, which Aroutiounyan has been ordered to pay back to Chase Bank in restitution.

The scam was spread throughout California, and the two were collecting information from Santa Clara, Marin, Fresno, San Bernardino, San Diego and Los Angeles counties.

Primarily based in Southern California, prosecutors have suspicions that the two could be part of a larger crime network, accounting for the large scope of activity.

“They may be part of a larger crime organization, that may account for it being spread out,” attorney general spokeswoman Lynda Gledhill said.

—By Bay City News Service

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