NEW YORK (WACH/AP) -- Prosecutors say a theft ring planted devices on gas pumps to copy credit and bank card numbers and used the data to steal more than $2 million in a scheme that hopscotched from the Southeast to New York City to the West Coast.
Four suspects pleaded not guilty to money laundering and other charges Tuesday in Manhattan. Nine others were being arrested.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. says the group somehow installed devices that captured card and PIN numbers inside pumps at gas stations in Georgia, South Carolina and Texas.
WACH Fox obtained court records from the Manhattan District Attorney, they say since 2011 a sophisticated skimming, ATM "cash out" and money laundering operation stole thousands of credit card and pin numbers from gas pumps across the southeast.
Once the numbers were skimmed, new cards were made with the victimâ??s debit card numbers were used at New York City ATMâ??s to withdraw as much money as possible from the victimsâ?? checking accounts.
Court Records show withdrawals as well as millions of dollars from cash-outs were deposited into dozens of bank accounts in an attempt to avoid transaction reporting requirements.
The stolen money was then, typically, immediately withdrawn by the true account holder in California or Nevada.
The Indictment says Davit Kudugulyan, Garegin Spartalyan, Aram Martirosian and Hayk Dzhandzhapanyan were arrested in Manhattan on March 21, 2013, related to their involvement in the ATM cash-out operation.
The defendants had been in New York since March 7, 2013, cashing-out victimsâ?? accounts from a RaceWay gas station in Mesquite, Texas and from various gas stations in North and South Carolina.
The defendants were found in possession of more than 400 forged debit cards, an encoding device, and approximately $340,000 in cash and money orders.
These items were found both on their person as well as in the room.
A lawyer for accused ringleader Davit Kudugulyan declined to comment.