Another suspect on April 9 pleaded guilty to an interstate ATM-skimming conspiracy that stole payment card data from customers and members of 11 banks and credit unions, including American Eagle Federal Credit Union, and created counterfeit cards to steal more than $335,000.

Ahmet Cilek, 42, a Turkish national, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Cilek and others conspired to install skimming devices on ATMs in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The devices were able to capture the information encoded on the magnetic stripes of payment cards used by ATM customers.

The co-conspirators also placed devices on the ATMs that contained hidden pinhole cameras, which recorded the PINs cardholders keyed into the ATMs to access their accounts. The co-conspirators used the stolen information captured by the cameras to create counterfeit cards that allowed them to withdraw money from the customers’ accounts.

As a result of this scheme, more than 250 accounts were accessed illegally, and financial institutions have experienced losses of $336,058, according to the courts.

Cilek is scheduled to be sentenced July 2. A 21-year-old New York woman pleaded guilty Dec. 19 to her role in the scheme (see story).

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