ID-Theft Ring Was Only Half Clever

SAN DIEGO (CN) – A Glendale man who skimmed debit card and PIN numbers from gas pumps was sentenced Friday to 3 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $521,800 in restitution.
     Akop Taymizyan, 37, pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to commit access device fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. He stole hundreds of people’s financial information by putting skimming devices in gas pumps in California, Arizona and Nevada.
     A co-conspirator, Georgi Rushanyan, pleaded guilty to the same charges and was sentenced in April 2012 to 4 years in prison.
     Prosecutors asked for a lengthy sentence, telling the judge that Taymizyan didn’t stop stealing even after Rushanyan had been arrested and prosecuted.
     After stealing the financial information, Taymizyan, “along with other co-conspirators,” took cash from victims’ bank accounts in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Georgia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. The ring stole more than 400 debit card and PIN numbers, withdrew more than $500,000 in cash, and used the phony debit cards they made to buy more than 8,800 Forever postage stamps, prosecutors said.

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