Second man arrested in Waikiki ATM skimming scheme
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Authorities in Seattle have arrested the second of two suspects charged last year in connection with an ATM skimming scheme.
33-year-old Armen Apoyan was arrested Tuesday according to Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro.
A co-defendant, Argishti Khachaturyan, 33, was arrested in September and extradited to Honolulu, where he is currently pending trial. Both men were indicted on August 20, 2013 by an Oahu grand jury and charged with conspiracy and identity theft.
The indictment alleges that Apoyan and Khachaturyan flew from Los Angeles to Honolulu on February 21, 2013. Thereafter, they installed an "overlay skimming device" over the card reader slot of a Central Pacific Bank ATM located at 2250 Kalakaua Avenue. They left the device on the ATM over the course of three days. During that time period, the device captured the account information of everyone who used the ATM.
The defendants subsequently removed the device, then made counterfeit ATM cards, which they used to withdraw money from the victims' accounts at an ATM located at The Modern Hotel at 1775 Ala Moana Boulevard, and at several other ATM's in Honolulu and California. The defendants returned to Los Angeles on February 25, 2013. The defendants caused financial losses in excess of $20,000, the statutory threshold for first-degree identity theft. If convicted, they face an automatic prison term of up to 20 years.
"America's financial system in based on trust," Kaneshiro said. "The actions of the defendants threaten the very foundation of that system, and for that reason, they will be extradited and prosecuted under Hawaii's identity theft laws".