Brazilians charged in Cleveland skimmer scam

ATM scam

(Cleveland) - Two Brazilian nationals were indicted after police arrested them with two credit card skimmers, more than 250 counterfeit credit or bank cards and nearly $140,000 in cash, law enforcement officials said.

Felipe Trovo Pena, 27, and Antonio Pedro de Oliveira Neto, 26, were charged in a five-count indictment with conspiracy to commit credit card fraud, use of counterfeit credit cards and possession of counterfeit credit cards.

Pena and Neto were arrested on Nov. 12, 2017 after a teller at the Cortland Banks branch in Hubbard called police to alert them to an individual(s) making ATM withdrawals while obscuring the camera in the ATM. The bank had been victimized by fraudulent withdrawals two days earlier, according to court documents.

Mike Tobin of the U.S. Attorney's Office says, Pena and Neto were taken into custody and an extensive investigation resulted in the search of a storage unit they had rented on West 61st Street in Cleveland. 

Tobin tells Newsradio WTAM 1100, a search of the unit uncovered approximately $139,480 in cash, the true Brazilian passports of Pena and Neto, 420 cards with magnetic strips, including 253 which were counterfeit credit or bank cards containing customer account data and two skimming devices, among other items, according to court documents.

Investigators claim Pena and Borges, between August and November 2017, covertly installed skimming devices on ATMs to fraudulently capture the magnetic data on credit and debit cards, which they then re-encoded on counterfeit credit and bank cards. They then used the counterfeit cards to obtain cash, according to court documents.

“These defendants stole personal information from people and then used it to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars through counterfeit bank and credit cards,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony said: “Individuals engaged in typical day to day credit and debit card transactions unfortunately became financial victims to these fraudsters. Financial fraud is a significant, damaging crime that can occur without your knowledge. The FBI would like to remind people to review their credit card and bank statements on a regular basis and report any suspicious activity to the respective financial institution. The FBI will continue to investigate and hold financial scammers, such as these, responsible for their actions.”

“This case involves suspects traveling around the state of Ohio and placing skimming devices on ATMs and stealing innocent peoples’ personal and financial information,” said Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Schuck. “These suspects would then use that information for their financial gain. These types of investigations are complex and the successful prosecution of these suspects are due to the great collaboration of law enforcement agencies working together."

(Photos by Getty Images)

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