PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that seven people were charged today by Indictment with conspiracy, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Those charged are Hamlet Tantushyan, 35, of Glendale, CA; Verzh Movsisyan, 41, of Glendale, CA; Armen Sahakyan, 41, of Burbank, CA; David Daldumyan, 29, of Van Nuys, CA; Hrchya Gyulumyan, 39, of Sun Valley, CA; Gevush Gabrielyan, 27, of North Hollywood, CA; and Roman Gridjusko, 30, of Philadelphia, PA.
The seven defendants were charged for their alleged involvement in a scheme to steal money from victims’ bank accounts by making fraudulent ATM withdrawals and money order purchases in multiple states with stolen debit card numbers. The victims’ debit card numbers were obtained by members of the scheme through illegally installed devices on gas station pumps, known as ‘skimmers’, that captured the victims’ debit card numbers and Personal Identification Numbers when they used their debit cards at gas stations to purchase gas.
“As alleged in the Indictment, this was a devious fraud utilizing technology to take advantage of victims who didn’t even see it coming,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “I want to thank the many agents and investigators who worked tirelessly to uncover this scheme and assist my Office in bringing today’s Indictment.”
If convicted Hamlet Tantushyan faces a maximum possible sentence of 187 years imprisonment and a $7,250,000 fine, defendant Vrezh Movsisyam faces a possible maximum sentence of 177 years imprisonment and a $6,000,000 fine, defendant Roman Gridjuski faces a maximum possible sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a $750,000 fine, defendant Armen Sahakyan faces a maximum possible sentence of 155 years imprisonment and a $6,000,000 fine, defendant Davit Daldumyan faces a maximum possible sentence of 93 years imprisonment and a $4,250,000 fine, defendant Hrchyan Gyulumyan faces a maximum possible sentence of 79 years imprisonment and a $2,050,000 fine, and defendant Gevush Gabrielyan faces a possible maximum sentence of 71 years imprisonment and a $3,000,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Philadelphia Organized Crime Task Force, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Secret Service, the Newark, Delaware Police Department, the Borough of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania Police Department, and the Bensalem, Pennsylvania Township Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney K.T. Newton.
Newark Police Statement
“In September 2016, a credit card skimming device was found on a gas pump located at an Exxon station at 820 South College Avenue in Newark. The skimming device allowed the suspects to receive the card number and pin number of anyone who used the pump to make a purchase. Newark Police Detectives began to investigate the source of the skimmer as that specific skimmer allowed the suspects to take thousands of dollars from victim’s bank accounts. Detectives followed-up and found that the stolen card numbers had been used to withdraw funds at locations in both Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Further investigation revealed that two of the suspects were seen repeatedly using clones of compromised cards. As the suspects were involved in crimes in both Delaware and Pennsylvania, federal agents with the United States Postal Inspection Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation became involved and assumed the investigation. Newark Detectives continued to assist in the investigation as the uncovering of the skimmer was the impetus to the discovery of this identity theft conspiracy.
On June 27, 2019, the suspects in this incident were indicted in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for their involvement in this identity theft conspiracy. The suspects face varying possible prison sentences of up to 187 years and more than $7,000,000 in fines.”