NY man pleads guilty to skimming Valley National Bank customer data
A Bulgarian native and Queens, N.Y., resident admitted to a scheme to steal account information from bank customers by installing secret recording devices on ATMs in Nutley and Belleville, N.J., U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Georgi Nikiforov, 25, pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to an Information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Nikiforov entered his guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz, who recommended to U.S. District Judge Faith S. Hochberg that his plea of guilty be accepted and entered. The defendant has been held without bail since his arrest on October 26, 2010.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Nikiforov admitted that he installed skimmers and cameras on the Valley National Bank ATMs in September 2008, and that after account and identification information was obtained, it was transferred and loaded onto blank ATM cards. The newly created cards were then used to make unauthorized withdrawals from the skimmed accounts by coconspirators throughout the Tri-State area and other parts of the United States.
In all, Nikiforov and his co-conspirators stole information pertaining to approximately 348 accounts, and defrauded Valley National Bank of approximately $278,144 by making numerous unauthorized withdrawals with counterfeit ATM cards in October 2008. The bank absorbed the loss when it repaid the defrauded customers.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, New Jersey