Two Bulgarians pleaded guilty Friday to walking off with thousands of dollars after stealing bank customers' identities by installing skimming devices at ATM machines, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in Miami.
Aleksandar Nikolov and Toscho Ilyeff admitted to stealing at banks throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
They pleaded guilty to credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft before U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas. They agreed to forfeit computers and $12,673.38 in cash found in their possession at the time of arrest. Sentencing will be Aug. 31.
The two face up to 10 years in prison on an access device fraud count and a mandatory two-year sentence for the aggravated identity theft.
JP Morgan Chase employees noticed a group installing skimming devices on banks' ATMs at several branches to capture the bank customers’ account numbers as they inserted their debit cards into the ATMs, according to court records. Nikolov and Ilyeff were accused of installing a wireless camera disguised as a speaker to record customers typing their pin numbers.
They then recorded account and PIN numbers so they could re-encoded this information onto VISA gift or debit cards and store gift cards.
Throughout February and March, the two used the counterfeit cards to withdraw cash from the customers’ accounts at ATMs throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
The men stole about $112,000 and took the identities of more than 800 victims in South Florida, according to court records.
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