Thieves Arrested for $340K Debit Card Scam, Cops Say

By Alan Neuhauser on March 25, 2013 9:59am 

 Cops recovered fraudulent credit cards, cash, and this credit card magnetic-strip encoding device from a room they searched at the Hotel Pennyslvania Thursday, March 22, 2013, the NYPD says.
Cops recovered fraudulent credit cards, cash, and this credit card magnetic-strip encoding device from a room they searched at the Hotel Pennyslvania Thursday, March 22, 2013, the NYPD says.
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NYPD

MIDTOWN — Cops have arrested four men accused of using fake debit cards to steal $340,000 from Manhattan ATM machines.

Garegin Spartalyan, 35, Aram Martirosian, 34, Hayk Dzhandzhapanyan, 40, and Davit Kudugulyan, 42, were each charged with 380 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and one count each of grand larceny, identity theft, criminal possession of forgery devices and unlawful possession of personal identification information.

Spartalyan and Martirosian live in Las Vegas. Dzhandzhapanyan and Kudugulyan are in California.

Chase Bank security alerted the Manhattan South Grand Larceny Task Force at 2 p.m. Thursday, saying that a man was withdrawing money from a flagged account via an ATM inside a Chase branch at 245 Seventh Ave., police said.

A photo was provided to responding officers, who spotted the man taking money from the ATM. They discovered he was holding about $5,000 in cash and 92 fraudulent debit cards, police said.

Barely three hours later, cops were again notified of a man siphoning money from a flagged account, this time from an ATM at an Atlantic Bank branch at 936 Third Ave., police said. Cops apprehended the man, recovering about $16,000 in cash and 82 fraudulent debit cards.

As the investigation unfolded, police identified and arrested two more suspects at the Hotel Pennsylvania. The officers recovered $37,000 in money orders and six fraudulent debit cards, the NYPD said.

After searching the suspects' hotel rooms, police said they found another $198,000 in money orders, $84,000 in cash, 200 fraudulent debit cards and a credit card magnetic strip encoding device.

All four men were being held at the Manhattan Detention Complex, city records show.

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