Two men accused of placing card reading devices around Hampton Roads facing federal charges

Posted at 11:39 AM, Aug 30, 2021

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Two men accused of placing skimming devices around Hampton Roads are facing charges.

Federal prosecutors say between June and July 2018, Pavel Salkhorian, Lucian Andrei Bejinaru and others allegedly “installed and maintained portable card reading devices ['skimming devices'] inside and over the mouth of automated teller machine ['ATM'] card reading apparatuses.”

Prosecutors said Salkhorian and Bejinaru installed, maintained and removed micro camera equipment on the ATM keypads and light panels.

The two men are accused of using the skimming devices to get victims' bank account and credit card information using the machines. There are four unnamed victims listed in the indictment that recently became unsealed.

The FBI said skimming occurs when devices illegally installed on ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals or fuel pumps capture data or record cardholders’ PINs.

Officials say criminals use the data to create fake debit or credit cards and then steal from victims’ accounts.

It is estimated that skimming costs financial institutions and consumers more than $1 billion each year.

Related: Card skimming device scheme linked to gang ties, victims in 8 states leads to arrests

Court records reveal that most of the time, there was between $400 and $500 withdrawn from the several banks in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach.

Salkhorian is currently being held in the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, and a jury trial is set for October 19 at 10 a.m. in Norfolk.

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