Credit card skimming isn’t just for Beverly Hills anymore. In the year since celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Cher fell prey to an identity theft scam at a California beauty salon, skimming schemes have been on the rise. Just this past month a man was sentenced in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Atlanta in relation to a similar conspiracy.
Boris Toumasian, along with co-conspirators Edmund Alexanyan and Karen Khalatyan, installed credit card skimming devices using a false front gas pump at a BP gas station in Alpharetta, Georgia. Using a pinhole camera, the team filmed customers as they entered their PIN numbers, transferred the card numbers to magnetic stripes on American Express gift cards, and used the altered cards to withdraw money from the customers’ accounts and to purchase electronics from retail stores.
Toumasian was indicted along with his co-conspirators on July 7, 2010, which marked the turning point for an extensive investigation involving special agents of the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and detectives of the Alpharetta Police Department. The investigation culminated in a raid on Toumasian’s apartment, which uncovered 44 altered gift cards, about $50,000 in cash, skimming devices, a laptop with stolen account information on it, and the false fronts and pinhole cameras used to perpetuate the scheme.
Toumasian was convicted on October 11, 2011 on charges of conspiracy, credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft, after reaching a plea agreement with federal criminal attorneys. He was sentenced on August 24, 2012 to serve 5 years in a federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. His co-conspirators have not been apprehended. If you or someone you know is facing conspiracy, credit card fraud, or aggravated identity theft charges, contact the attorneys at Parkman Blanch for professional and experienced defense representation.