The proliferation of credit cards and debit cards has, not surprisingly, led to the proliferation of crimes involving these cash substitutes. Police in South Abington Township in Lackawanna County recently arrested three men who are alleged to have operated a widespread network of fraud that was reliant on stolen credit card and debit card numbers.
The three men are alleged to have used card skimmers to clone a number of false debit and credit cards that provided access to real bank accounts. An employee of the Penn East Bank in South Abington happened to drive by the bank when it was closed. She saw a man in the vestibule where the ATM machine was located, but she did not see a car nearby. The employee called police, but they missed the suspects by less than 10 minutes.
The police then set up an undercover operation involving surveillance and monitoring of the bank’s security cameras. When one of the suspects was seen withdrawing cash from the ATM machine, police arrested him. They also found two men waiting in a nearby parked car. The two men were also arrested. The three men have been charged with several fraud-related crimes that resulted in the fraudulent withdrawal of more than $100,000.
The three suspects in this case are Romanian immigrants, although their citizenship has not been established. Nevertheless, they are entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until they have been proven guilty. Anyone facing similar charges may benefit from consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney for advice on potential defense strategies, the strength of the prosecution’s case and, if appropriate, the likelihood of negotiating a favorable plea agreement.