Man sentenced to 3 years prison for skimming debit card numbers

A Glendale man accused of skimming debit card numbers at gas stations around San Diego and across the country was sentenced Friday to three years in federal prison.

Akop Taymizyan, 37, and several co-conspirators collected personal identification numbers for more than 400 bank accounts, including about 30 in San Diego, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The numbers were obtained by skimming devices placed inside fuel pumps at gas stations in California, Arizona, Nevada, beginning in December 2009, prosecutors said.

The prosecutors said the group made over $500,000 in unauthorized withdrawals and forever stamps.

“Identity theft is a pervasive and growing threat to consumers and financial institutions,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “The U.S. Attorney's Office recommends that individuals monitor their monthly bank, credit card and brokerage account statements for unauthorized charges and immediately report any unauthorized charges or transfers to their financial institutions.”

Taymizyan had pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit access device fraud and bank fraud, and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw.

A co-conspirator, Georgi Rushanyan, pleaded guilty last year to the same charges and was imprisoned for four years, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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