By STANLEY JORDAN
Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Diego Rodriguez, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and William J. Bratton, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today the unsealing of an Indictment in Manhattan federal court charging GJETO PRELAJ, ERBI KAU, BLEDAR BATSKA, NIKOLIN DEDUSHI, ENIS MUSTAFA, and MEHMET BOGIC, with access device fraud and aggravated identity theft for their alleged roles in schemes to steal customer bank account information and to use counterfeit/stolen debit and credit cards in New York and Nevada.
PRELAJ, KAU, BATSKA, DEDUSHI, and VICTOR TOMESCU were also charged with possessing, using, and trafficking devices that used “skimming” technology to secretly record the debit card and personal identification numbers of customers who used automated teller machines (“ATMs”). Such devices can be employed to steal hundreds of card numbers of ATM users, which can be encoded on new counterfeit cards and used to make thousands of dollars of fraudulent charges or withdrawals.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Today, we arrested seven defendants who allegedly stole debit and credit card numbers using sophisticated skimming devices installed on ATMs, and then used that information to defraud victims out of thousands of dollars. I want to thank the FBI, NYPD, as well as the Joint Organized Crime Task Force and FBI-NYPD Financial Cyber Crimes Taskforce, for their excellent work in this investigation.”
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Joint Organized Crime Task Force and FBI-NYPD Financial Cyber Crimes Task Force. He also thanked the FBI’s Las Vegas Field Office, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their assistance throughout the investigation.
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