ATM theft can involve many different actions from stealing the ATM machine itself, breaking into the machine and taking the cash, and stealing information used in ATM machines such as debit card information. Because ATM's are part of the banking system, the federal government will usually take jurisdiction of the matter and prosecute the case in federal court.
ATM Deposit Fraud: This crime targets a bank and the victim. Suspects open accounts at a bank and make fraudulent deposits with fake checks that will take time to process (e.g. checks deposited on Friday night). The next day, the suspect makes a withdrawal based on the deposited checks with the knowledge that the check is invalid.
Card withholding: This crime usually involves more than one person. One suspect is the "spotter" and another is the "friendly". Both are working together to obtain what they need to commit their crime: an ATM card, and a PIN. Usually, something is placed into the ATM machine to prevent the removal of a card once it is inserted. When someone attempts to retrieve their card, the friendly suggests retyping the pin several times. The spotter is somewhere watching the customer retyping his or her pin. When the customer leaves, they retrieve the card and now have the necessary information to use it.
Skimming: This is another common crime and is not limited to ATM machines. The defendant attaches a small machine that resembles a card reader in ATM and vending machines, like a RedBox. This "skimmer" can read and store the data embedded in the card, including the security code. With this information, one can place online orders or create a "clone" of the card.
ATM Theft: This crime involves stealing the ATM machine itself or breaking into the machine to remove cash and other deposits.
Each of these crimes is punishable under several different federal statutes, including but not limited to: Wire Fraud, Conspiracy, Credit Card Fraud, Identity Theft, Bank Fraud, Bank Robbery, and Larceny.
If you have been charged with a federal crime related to theft from an ATM, give the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Sichta, LLC a call. We can advise you on your best course of action. Put our knowledge to work for you!