Charges Announced for Credit Card Skimming Scheme that Targeted Fresno Gas Stations
FRESNO, CA (STL.News) Arman Mkhitaryan, 33, of Glendale, arraigned today on a 33-count indictment charging him with bank fraud and credit card fraud, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, Mkhitaryan installed credit card skimming devices at Fresno area gas stations and stole individuals’ credit card information. He then used that information to create counterfeit credit cards and purchase more than $160,000 in postage stamps via self-service kiosks at U.S. Post Offices.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vincente Tennerelli and Joseph Barton are prosecuting the case.
If convicted of bank fraud, Mkhitaryan faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. If convicted of the credit card fraud, Mkhitaryan faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.