MADIGAN: DEFENDANTS PLEAD GUILTY TO BANK FRAUD, IDENTITY THEFT SCHEME INVOLVING CHICAGO AREA ATMS
Defendants Had Access to Nearly 500 Victims’ Bank Accounts
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced two Chicago men have pleaded guilty to rigging area ATM machines to skim customers’ bank accounts and pin numbers.
Anguel Marinkov, 41, of Chicago pleaded guilty to one count of Continuing Financial Crimes Enterprise before Judge Michael Howlett in Cook County Circuit Court late last week. He was sentenced to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) on the Class 1 felony. Radomir Georgiev, 33, also of Chicago, entered a guilty plea to one count of Identity Theft, a Class 2 felony, and was sentenced to three years in the IDOC.
Madigan said the defendants worked together in placing electronic devices on ATM machines belonging to Chase Bank in Cook County and southeastern Wisconsin. Through their scheme, Marinkov and Georgiev obtained the financial information of nearly 500 people, giving them access to millions of dollars in bank accounts. Chase Bank is estimated to have lost more than $100,000.
“These so-called skimming operations can cause serious financial harm,” Attorney General Madigan said. “These cases serve as a reminder of the threat of identity theft and the need for all of us to pay close attention to our financial statements and immediately flag unauthorized transactions with our bank.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Chicago Police Department and referred to Madigan’s office for prosecution.
Madigan said identity theft continues to be a growing threat to Illinois consumers. Last year, more than 3,200 identity theft complaints were filed with her office’s Consumer Fraud Bureau. Consumers reported incidents of fraudulent charges on their existing accounts, thieves opening new accounts in their names (including credit card, utility and cell phone accounts) and instances of bank fraud, such as stolen checks or fraudulent withdrawals made to a victim’s bank account.
Madigan urged consumers to contact her Identity Theft Hotline, (866) 999-5630 or TTY (877) 844-5461, for one-on-one assistance to report suspected incidents of identity theft to local law enforcement and financial institutions and for help repairing their credit and for protecting their identities.
Assistant Bureau Chief Edward Carter and Assistant Attorney General Anshuman Vaidya are handling the cases for Madigan’s Financial Crimes Bureau.