Bronx man brought up on 42 counts of credit card fraud
Published 9:54 am, Tuesday, June 14, 2016
DARIEN — A Bronx, N.Y., man has been arrested after a spree of failed attempts to use counterfeit credit cards in Darien, Fairfield and New Jersey in 2014, police said.
Mirko Martinelli, 27, was charged with 24 counts of third-degree identity theft, fourth-degree larceny, 24 counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 42 counts of ATM fraud and 42 counts of credit card forgery. He was not able to post $50,000 bond.
According to police, Martinelli and another man, Mario Pena, set up a skimmer device at an ATM in New Jersey on Sept. 21, 2014, to steal card numbers and other information. When a person accessed the compromised ATM, the skimmer device picked up the card holder’s private information.
Because the information used by Martinelli and Pena the next day in Darien and Fairfield had been compromised in New Jersey, the two were unsuccessful in withdrawing money at the first of two banks they hit in Darien.
At the second bank in Darien, the men withdrew $1,220 from 13 accounts, police said.
A fraud investigator with Chase Bank Group contacted Darien police on Sept. 23, 2014, about several attempts to withdraw cash from two Darien ATMs with a counterfeit card the day before.
More fraudulent attempts to withdraw money occurred in Fairfield shortly after the events reported in Darien. The fraud investigator contacted Fairfield police, who arrested two suspects trying to withdraw money at the People’s United Bank on Stratfield Road.
The men were identified as Martinelli and Pena. In all, 18 counterfeit cards were found on Pena and another 16 were found on Martinelli.
Darien police obtained surveillance video from the banks visited by the men and confirmed the suspects arrested in Fairfield were dressed identically to those captured on video in Darien.
Police said Martinelli and Pena obtained the card numbers by running a skimmer at an ATM in Oradell, N.J., on Sept. 21, 2014.
According to the police report, “A skimmer device is placed on the outside of the ATM and as the customer puts their card into the ATM it goes through the skimmer. The skimmer reads and records the information on the customer’s card.”
Martinelli and Pena used that information to make counterfeit cards by placing magnetic strips containing the information on blank cards. Police were unsure how the pair obtained the PINs to access accounts.
Martinelli was arraigned at state Superior Court in Stamford on May 25, after Darien police picked him up from Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, N.J.