A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty to his role in an ATM “jackpotting” operation, federal officials said.
ATM jackpotting is an attack where individuals who have physical access to an automated teller machine connect to it and then use malware or specialized electronic equipment (or both) to gain control of the system’s operations.
In February, Alberto Fajin-Diaz, 31, of Spain, and Argenys Rodriguez, 21, of Springfield, Massachusetts, ended up charged with ATM jackpotting after their arrest January 27, said officials at the Department of Justice (DoJ). The two were found near an ATM compromised with jackpotting malware to dispense $20 bills.
Rodriguez pleaded guilty Monday to his role in the ATM jackpotting scheme, said John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.
After being alerted by Citizens Bank investigators of a possible jackpotting attack on an ATM in Cromwell, the police encountered Rodriguez and Fajin-Diaz in the vicinity of an “ATM that had been compromised with malware and was in the process of dispensing $20 bills,” DoJ officials said.
In the duo’s vehicle, police found tools and electronic devices that could be used to compromise ATMs to dispense cash. The two men also had around $5,600 in cash, yet the investigation revealed that over $63,000 had been taken from the ATM on that date.
The investigators later discovered on January 22, Rodriguez, Fajin-Diaz and others illegally obtained $63,820 from a Citizens Bank ATM in Rhode Island.
Rodriguez is scheduled to be sentenced September 26. He faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years. Fajin-Diaz pleaded guilty to his role in the ARM jackpotting attacks June 12 and awaits sentencing.