Bulgarian Citizen Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 21 Months in Prison for Stealing $1.8 Million from Banks Using ATM “Skimming” Scheme
Defendant Compromised at Least 1,400 Customer Bank Accounts
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 13, 2011|
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that RADOSTIN PARALINGOV was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 21 months in prison for his role in a scheme that used sophisticated “skimming” devices installed on Automated Teller Machines (“ATMs”) to steal over $1.8 million from at least 1,400 customer accounts at New York City area banks. PARALINGOV previously pled guilty before U.S. District Judge NAOMI REICE BUCHWALD to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, one count of bank fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA stated: “Skimming has become an increasingly popular modus operandi of technologically savvy criminals. As today’s sentence demonstrates, we will ultimately catch them and bring them to justice.”
According to the Indictment to which PARALINGOV pled guilty, other court documents, and statements made in court:
From December 2007 through June 2009, RADOSTIN PARALINGOV, 30, of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and his co-conspirator, ULIAN PARALINGOV, installed electronic devices on ATM card readers that secretly recorded a customer’s bank account data when the ATM was used. They also installed hidden cameras on the machines to secretly record customers’ personal identification numbers (“PINs”) as they were entered. The defendants then encoded the stolen data onto blank cards, which they used, along with the stolen PINs, to withdraw funds from the compromised accounts.
PARALINGOV and his co-conspirator targeted ATMs belonging to Citibank, N.A. (“Citibank”) and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) in the New York City area. Citibank and Chase reimbursed their customers for their reported losses.
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In addition to the prison term, Judge BUCHWALD sentenced PARALINGOV to three years of supervised release. Judge BUCHWALD imposed an order of forfeiture in the amount of $1,838,001, a restitution order in the amount of $1,838,001, and a special assessment of $300.
ULIAN PARALINGOV, 28, of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, is currently a fugitive.
Mr. BHARARA praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New York for their outstanding work in investigating this case.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys JOSEPH P. FACCIPONTI and TIMOTHY T. HOWARD are in charge of the prosecution.