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Alpharetta Gas Station 'Skimmer' Sentenced to Prison

A man who pleaded guilty to "skimming" debit and credit card information at a Haynes Bridge Road gas station in 2008 will spend 5 years in federal prison.

More than 175 customers of the BP station on Haynes Bridge Road in Alpharetta saw a little justice today when the man who was convicted of "skimming" their credit and debit card information in 2008 to steal money from them was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison.

Boris Toumasian, 25, of Glendale, CA, who stole credit and debit card information from BP gas station customers and then used the information to create counterfeit cards, withdraw money from the customers’ bank accounts, and buy electronics, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten to serve 5 years in federal prison on charges of conspiracy, credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft. At the conclusion of the sentencing, the judge ordered the U.S. Marshals to take Toumasian into custody.

 Toumasian was sentenced to 5 years in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $86,612.73.  Toumasian was convicted of these charges on Oct. 11, 2011, after pleading guilty.

In 2008, Toumasian worked at a BP gas station located at 11425 Haynes Bridge Road in Alpharetta, according to U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates and information presented in court Georgia. Along with two alleged co-conspirators, Toumasian installed a skimming device at the gas station that recorded the credit and debit card numbers of customers who visited the store and used their cards.  The device also recorded the customers’ personal identification numbers (PINs). 

Toumasian and his co-conspirators then transferred the stolen card numbers to the magnetic stripes on American Express gift cards. They used the altered gift cards to withdraw money from the customers’ bank accounts at ATMs and to purchase electronics at stores. Law enforcement has identified over 175 victims of this scheme.

Toumasian had two apartments on Jameson Pass in Alpharetta at the time, and police searched them on Dec. 10, 2008. They found more than 44 gift cards fraudulently encoded with credit and debit card information, more than $50,000 cash, all in $20 bills, skimming devices used to collect card data, a laptop computer with stolen account information, false fronts for ATMs and gas station pumps, a device used to encode cards with account information, and a pinhole camera used to video customers entering their PINs.

Toumasian was indicted on July 7, 2010, along with two alleged co-conspirators, Edmond Alexanyan and Karen Khalatyan. Alexanyan and Khalatyan are fugitives. Anyone with information about their whereabouts should contact the U.S. Secret Service at 404-331-6111, or the FBI at 404-679-9000.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the U.S. Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and detectives of the Alpharetta Police Department.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case, “People don’t expect that when they swipe their credit card at a gas station, they are handing over their credit card information to crooks.  Identity theft wreaks havoc on its victims, and today’s prison sentence reflects the seriousness of this crime.”

“As advances in technology continue to aid those who prey on unsuspecting members of the public, the Secret Service and its federal, state and local counterparts will continue to combine their investigative capabilities to pursue the offenders,” said Reginald G. Moore Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service - Atlanta Field Office. “As in this case, the perceived anonymity that comes from committing crimes from behind a computer screen disappears when those who victimize are brought to justice.”

Assistant United States Attorney Stephen H. McClain prosecuted the case.

Bob Pepalis (Editor) August 24, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Were you one of the victims of this "skimmer"? How did it affect you? Was your credit damaged as a result?

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