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Three Ukrainian nationals produced fraudulent debit cards to illegally withdraw nearly $6 million from Citibank N.A., Washington Mutual Inc. and First Bank of St. Louis, according to an FBI affidavit recently obtained by CardLine sister publication ATM&Debit News. A subsequent indictment alleges the three, Yuriy Ryabinin (also known as Yuriy Rakushchynets), Ivan Biltse (aka Ivan Belyayev) and Angelina Kitaeva, either stole the money or facilitated the thefts between Sept. 30, 2007, and March 4. First Bank executives first noticed the thefts in October, according to an affidavit in support of a Feb. 28 arrest warrant for Rakushchynets, a Brooklyn, N.Y., resident. They notified the FBI's St. Louis field office that four of the bank's iWire Inc. prepaid MasterCard accounts had been compromised either Sept. 30 or Oct. 1, 2007, according to a sworn affidavit by Albert Murray, an FBI special agent assigned to a squad focusing on cybercrime and intellectual property. IWire is based in Jericho, N.Y. Thieves used the stolen iWire accounts to produce cards to make more 9,000 fraudulent withdrawals and attempted withdrawals at ATMs around the world, "resulting in a total loss or approximately $5 million," the affidavit says. The affidavit does not disclose how the thieves distributed the account information. However, 12 ATM withdrawals using cards the stolen numbers occurred on Oct. 1 at the same Washington Mutual branch in Brooklyn. The thief stole approximately $9,624, the FBI says. The same FBI affidavit that discusses the First Bank and Washington Mutual thefts also disclosed the government's investigation into ATM thefts at Citibank. In February, Citibank, the world's largest bank in terms of assets, contacted the FBI about the thefts. Citibank executives told the FBI that a Citibank server that processes ATM withdrawals at 7-Eleven Inc. convenience stores had been breached, according to Murray's affidavit. Thieves used the compromised data to produce counterfeit cards.  According to the affidavit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Ryabinin is responsible for fraudulently withdrawing $750,000 in February from Citibank ATMs. Biltse and Kitaeva both were arrested March 14. The federal government has charged Ryabinin, Biltse, and Kitaeva with conspiracy to defraud the United States and producing and trafficking counterfeit access devices. Lawyers for the three did not return calls for comment.

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