Serbian National Arrested in Fraud Plot
|FBI Chicago June 17, 2010|
A Serbian national living in Chicago’s north suburbs was arrested yesterday on charges he attempted to purchase a device commonly used for ATM skimming, announced Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
LOUIS SOKOLOVIC, also known as Ljubisa Sokolovic, age 59, whose last known address was 8047 West Foster Lane in Niles, Illinois, was arrested yesterday morning, without incident, by FBI Special Agents at his residence. Special Agents from the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE) and the Criminal Investigations Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assisted in the arrest. SOKOLOVIC was charged in a criminal complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of attempting to obtain device-making equipment with intent to defraud, which is a felony offense. According to the complaint, beginning in July of 2008, SOKOLOVIC began negotiating to purchase a device commonly used to “skim” account information from the users of ATMs.
Unbeknownst to SOKOLOVIC, the individual with whom he was negotiating was secretly working for the FBI. During the course of the investigation, SOKOLOVIC is alleged to have made frequent mention that the device would be used to capture account information and PINs from unsuspecting ATM customers, which SOKOLOVIC would then use to steal funds from the victims' accounts.
SOKOLOVIC purchased the equipment necessary to build the ATM skimmer, but the finished skimming device was never provided to SOKOLOVIC for his use.
SOKOLOVIC appeared before Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys in Chicago late yesterday, at which time he was formally charged. SOKOLOVIC was ordered held without bond, pending his next scheduled court appearance. If convicted of the charge filed against him, SOKOLOVIC faces a possible sentence of up to ten (10) years' incarceration.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A copy of the criminal complaint filed in this case is available from the Chicago FBI’s press office at (312) 829-1199.