Feds bust international card fraud gang

Feds bust international card fraud gang

US authorities have indicted 17 people accused of using stolen card data from Europe to withdraw hundreds of thousands of dollars from ATMs in Chicago.

The FBI arrested 13 defendants in the Chicago area last week, while another two were picked up in Sofia, Bulgaria and face extradition.

According to the 29-count indictment, Bulgaria-based Radoslav Pavlov and Mihail Petrov fraudulently obtained card numbers and PINs from Europe and then sent them via e-mail and Skype to gang leader Gheorgui Martov - AKA Mitsubishi - in Chicago.

The stolen data was then encoded onto magnetic strip cards which were handed out to several defendants who took cash from ATMs around Chicago, often just before and after midnight in order to circumvent withdrawal limits.

Proceeds where then funneled out of the US to Bulgaria and elsewhere through a money transfer company co-owned by Martov and other defendants.

The 13 defendants arrested in Chicago have been arraigned and have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Another of the 17 was already in custody while one is still a fugitive.

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