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Man Pleads Guilty To Skimming At ATMs In Ridgefield

A man from Astoria, N.Y., has pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme to manipulate ATM machines in Ridgefield, Norwalk and Wilton.
A man from Astoria, N.Y., has pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme to manipulate ATM machines in Ridgefield, Norwalk and Wilton. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- A New York man has pleaded guilty in an ATM skimming plot that included stealing debit card information in Ridgefield, Norwalk and Wilton.

Moises Morales Cano, 31, of Astoria, N.Y., pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence, R.I., Tuesday to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, admitting to his role in a scheme to manipulate bank ATMs.

The scheme resulted in the theft of personal information skimmed from debit cards belonging to more than 1,300 individuals and the loss of more than $709,000, officials report.

According to Deirdre Daly, U.S. attorney in Connecticut, Cano had targeted ATMs in Ridgefield, Norwalk and Wilton in April 2015.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell Jr., Cano admitted to the court that between January 1 and April 4, 2015, he conspired with another individual to attach skimming devices on ATMs at banks in several communities in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

According to information presented to the court, approximately 1,329 individuals had their debit cards compromised, resulting in a total loss of approximately $709,597.50.

An ATM skimming device is technology that directly attaches to an ATM in order to intercept unknowing customers’ debit card information from the magnetic strip on ATM cards.

The stolen information and PINs are downloaded and re-encoded onto counterfeit debit cards, and the counterfeit cards are used to make fraudulent transactions from the accounts of unknowing victims.

Cano’s guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Ted A. Arruda, resident agent in charge of the Providence office of the U.S. Secret Service, and Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney.

Cano has been detained in federal custody since his arrest in Queens, N.Y., on September 9, 2015, officials report.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 20.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.

The matter was investigated by the United States Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Secret Service and the Warwick Police Department, with the assistance of the Smithfield, East Providence, Cranston and Johnston Police Departments.

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