Two Southern California men were sentenced Friday in connection with a local credit card skimming case, and three others, in a separate case, were convicted of a similar scheme that also affected San Luis Obispo County residents.
In both cases, the perpetrators replaced the card readers at Chase Bank ATMs with devices that allowed them to retrieve customers’ card information, according to the Attorney General’s Office. And both crews installed cameras to capture the cardholders’ PIN entry so they could create bogus ATM access cards.
Gnel Snapyan, 35, was sentenced in San Luis Obispo Superior Court to 364 days in state prison and five years' probation. His co-conspirator, Gervork Aroutiounyan, 48, was sentenced to three years and eight months in state prison.
They pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit grand theft, computer access fraud, identity theft, second-degree burglary and forgery of access cards.
Between July 2010 and February 2011, the scammers withdrew about $220,000 from the bank accounts of more than 300 victims in Santa Clara, Marin, Fresno and San Luis Obispo counties.
In a separate scam, Santiago Alcantar, 37, Genea Antoine, 39, and Anthony Garcia, 30, pleaded guilty Friday in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court to the charges of conspiracy to commit grand theft, computer access fraud, identity theft, second-degree burglary and forgery of access cards.
Alcantar, Antoine, and Garcia ran a skimmer operation in San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. The crew stole about $217,000 from more than 200 victims.
Their sentencing is scheduled for July 27. Alcantar is expected to be sentenced to four years in state prison, Antoine to two years in state prison and Garcia to a maximum sentence of one year and 4 months.
In both cases, Chase Bank has reimbursed customers for their losses.