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Man Admits To Fraud Stemming From ATM 'Jackpotting' Scheme In Connecticut

U.S. Federal Court in Hartford.
U.S. Federal Court in Hartford. Photo Credit: File

A 22-year-old man is facing decades in prison after pleading guilty to his role in a “jackpotting” scheme to steal from ATMs in Connecticut and surrounding areas.

Argenys Rodriguez of Springfield, Massachusetts, has waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud stemming from an ATM “jackpotting” scheme that netted him thousands of dollars.

According to court documents and statements made in court, law enforcement agencies and ATM manufacturers have been investigating malware attacks on ATM machines in Connecticut and the surrounding areas. In a scheme referred to as “jackpotting,” suspects use malware that is designed to cause an ATM to eject all of the U.S. currency contained in the machine.  As part of the scheme, suspects dressed as legitimate repair technicians install malware on an ATM.  Other then proceed to extract all of the cash from the ATM.

On Jan. 27, Citizens Bank investigators contacted police after they observed what appeared to be a jackpotting attack on an ATM in Cromwell.  On that date, Cromwell Police encountered Rodriguez and Alex Alberto Fajin-Diaz near an ATM that had been compromised with malware and was in the process of dispensing $20 bills.

A search of Rodriguez and Fajin-Diaz’s vehicle found tools and electronic devices consistent with items needed to compromise an ATM machine to dispense its cash contents.  Rodriguez and Fajin-Diaz were found in possession of approximately $5,600 in cash, but the investigation revealed that a total of $63,200 was taken from the ATM on that day.

Further investigation determined that, on January 22, Rodriguez, Fajin-Diaz and others illegally obtained $63,820 from a Citizens Bank ATM in Rhode Island. Fajin-Diaz, 32, a citizen of Spain, pleaded guilty to the same charge on June 12, and currently awaits sentencing.  He has been detained since his arrest on Jan. 27.

Rodriguez remains released on $250,000 bond and is due to be sentenced on Sept. 26, when he will face up to 30 years in prison.

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