A 21-year-old New London woman will serve just under four years in prison for taking part in an ATM "skimming" scheme in southern New England.
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton sentenced Gabriella Graham to 45 months in prison on Thursday in New Haven. Graham must also serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution individually and with her co-conspirators.
Fein said Graham - along with Mehmet Aydin, Ahmet Cilek and others - installed devices on ATM machines to capture information on the magnetic strips of bank cards used by customers. They installed the devices at ATMs at 11 banks and one credit union in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
Fein said Graham and others also installed devices containing hidden pinhole cameras, allowing them to record the personal identification numbers customers entered into the ATMs. He said the information gathered through the devices allowed Graham and her co-conspirators to create counterfeit bank cards and withdraw funds from customers' accounts.
Fein said Graham helped produce counterfeit bank cards, wrote PIN numbers on the backs of cards, and sometimes made unauthorized withdrawals. He said she also served as a lookout while her co-conspirators installed the devices and made unauthorized withdrawals.
About 500 bank accounts were accessed as part of the scheme, and the affected banks lost approximately $336,057.64.
Graham pleaded guilty on Dec. 19 to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Aydin and Cilek have also pleaded guilty and await sentencing.