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ATM Servicer Accused of Theft

In a scenario that seems more like a plot from a heist movie, federal authorities recently uncovered a scheme where an ATM servicer stole nearly $80,000 from two machines by replacing cash with counterfeit bills.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, an ATM service repairman allegedly opened two ATMs owned by JPMorgan Chase & Company in Manhattan and replaced money in the machines' divert cans with counterfeit $20 bills. According to court filings, a divert can is used when the ATM's sensors detect something wrong with bills that are set to be dispensed to a customer. Essentially, the money is diverted to a collection tray in the machine and not to the customer.

The FBI, in conjunction with the NYPD, investigated work orders provided by service company and interviewed JPMorgan Chase employees when they reported abnormalities with the divert cans. They also reviewed surveillance video that appears to show the man entering the service areas for the ATMs (with a bag), accessing the machines, and exiting the venues on the dates the service calls were made.

According to the arrest warrant filed in federal court, the man allegedly stole $30,240 from one ATM and replaced it with counterfeit bills. He allegedly stole $48,000 from a second ATM and replaced the money with counterfeit currency.

Authorities arrested the man at JFK International Airport in New York as he returned from the Dominican Republic. He was arraigned the next day and did not enter a plea, and was reportedly released on $150,000 bail.

Source: WSJ.com, ATM Servicer Charged with Replacing Stolen Bills with Fakes, October 16, 2012

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Gregory R. Gifford
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