The U.S. Department of Justice reports that 17 defendants are facing federal fraud or related charges for their alleged roles in an international ATM skimming and money laundering scheme involving hundreds of thousands of dollars. The charges were brought in a 29-count indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury on March 12, 2014.
Two defendants were arrested in Sofia, Bulgaria, and 13 defendants were arrested in Chicago and several suburbs by FBI agents following a lengthy international investigation. One is a fugitive and another is in state custody waiting to be arraigned on the federal charges.
The alleged perpetrators fraudulently obtained ATM and debit card numbers with personal identification numbers associated with them, in Europe. They withdrew money from victims’ accounts using automated teller machines at various locations in the Chicago area.
“These charges are the result of the hard work of dedicated law enforcement personnel both here and abroad to address a transnational crime problem that can affect virtually anyone with a bank account and carries significant financial consequences. Cooperation with international law enforcement agencies was crucial to the investigation, and we are grateful for the assistance that led to these arrests,” said Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
The indictment seeks forfeiture of approximately $200,000 from 15 defendants as alleged proceeds of the fraud, and it also seeks approximately $50,000 from three of those charged as alleged proceeds of the money laundering.
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