Second ATM skimming suspect arrested in Seattle

A photo of Armen Apoyan taken by an ATM in Waikiki.

The second of two suspects charged last year in connection with an ATM skimming scheme in Honolulu will be extradited to Honolulu.

Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro says authorities arrested Armen Apoyan, 33, in Seattle on Tuesday, March 11. He and co-defendant Argishti Khachaturyan, 33, were indicted by an Oahu grand jury and charged with conspiracy and identity theft.

The indictment alleges that Apoyan and Khachaturyan flew from Los Angeles to Honolulu on February 21, 2013, and installed an “overlay skimming device” over the card reader slot of a Central Pacific Bank ATM at 2250 Kalakaua Ave. They left the device on the ATM over the course of three days, capturing the account information of everyone who used the ATM. The defendants subsequently removed the device, made counterfeit ATM cards, and withdrew money from the victims’ accounts at an ATM located at The Modern Honolulu hotel and several other ATMs in Honolulu and California.

Authorities say the defendants caused financial losses in excess of $20,000, the statutory threshold for first-degree identity theft.

Khachaturyan was arrested in September and extradited to Honolulu, where he is currently pending trial.

If convicted, both men face an automatic prison term of up to 20 years.

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