Vardan Kargramany was part of a ring which set up skimmers that copied credit and debit card info as the unknowing victims filled up at gas pumps.
Six financial institutions were bilked of the tens of thousands of dollars, but the deputy prosecutor says it also impacted the nearly 200 individuals.
“Let me say the initial targets of this scheme were those who used debit cards because debit card holders pin numbers are encoded on the magnetic strip on the card. So they are hit first with unauthorized withdrawals when the suspects make counterfeit credit or debit cards,” Deputy Prosecutor, Chris Van Marter said.
Kargramany will spend twenty years in prison for i.d. theft. they ring stole about $160,000 dollars with six banks hit along with 199 victims.
“The people who had money taken from their accounts, didn’t have access to their own money for a number of days, up to a week. so the idea that this only affects banks or financial institutions, it’s not true. people were affected by this and it wasn’t just inconvenience,” Van Marter said.
Kargramany was order to pay restitution, and the Hawaii Paroling Authority will set the minimum prison term.
The thieves were caught using the bank’s sophisticated software.
“You have a number of people who report to their bank that money has been withdrawn from their account, usually in another state. They report that they weren’t in that state at the time of the withdrawal. And so the bank has sophisticated software that can basically connect all the dots between the account holders,” Van Marter said.
Akop Changryan was also convicted of, will be sentenced in a week.
Both were extradited to Hawaii from California, where they faced similar charges.