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Crime & Courts

Carol Stream man charged in international ATM fraud scheme

A Carol Stream man is one of 17 defendants charged in an international ATM skimming and money-laundering scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

After a lengthy international investigation, Alexander Savov, 47, of Carol Stream, was arrested March 25 by FBI agents, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The alleged scheme involved using ATM and debit card numbers and the personal identification numbers associated with them to withdraw money from victims’ accounts using ATMs throughout the Chicago area, the release stated. The numbers were fraudulently obtained in Europe.

Radoslav Pavlov, 36, of Sofia, Bulgaria; Mihail Petrov, 41, of Sofia; and Domeniko Evitmov, 46, of Chicago, allegedly were located outside the U.S. when they fraudulently obtained ATM and debit card numbers and PINs from locations in Europe as part of the scheme, according to the release.

Pavlov, Petrov, Evitmov, Savov and others they directed then transferred the information, often by Skype or email, to Gheorgui Martov, 39, of Schiller Park, who then allegedly directed the scheme in the Chicago area, the release stated.

It is alleged Martov gave the information to various co-defendants, who then allegedly made the fraudulent withdrawals from area ATMs, according to the release. The defendants allegedly divided the money they obtained, the release stated.

The indictment in the case seeks forfeiture of about $200,000 from 15 defendants as alleged proceeds of the fraud, according to the release.

Pavlov was charged with wire fraud, and Petrov was charged with wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy and money laundering, the release stated. Martov was charged with 22 counts of wire fraud and four counts of money laundering, as well as charges related to money laundering conspiracy and obstruction of justice, according to the release.

Fourteen other defendants were each charged with one or more counts of wire fraud, the release stated.

Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and restitution is mandatory, according to the release.

Martov, his wife and 11 other defendants were arraigned March 25 and pleaded not guilty to the charges against them before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Martin, the release stated.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott Edenfield, Matthew Getter and Timothy Chapman. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Burke guided the investigation before he transferred from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago to the Eastern District of Virginia. The Office of International Affairs of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division assisted with this case.

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