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December 17, 2013

MADIGAN CHARGES DEBIT CARD IDENTITY THEFT RING

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced charges against a trio of identity thieves for obtaining and using fraudulent debit cards to access thousands of dollars in cash.

Defendants Nikolay Bozov, Yuliyan Kehayov and Dan Stoica were charged in Cook County Criminal Court with continuing a financial crimes enterprise, identity theft, financial institution fraud, conspiracy to commit a financial crime, wire fraud and computer fraud.

Madigan alleged that the defendants were part of an organized financial institution fraud ring in which fake debit cards were re-encoded with bank account information belonging to victims across the United States and overseas. Using fraudulent cards, the defendants allegedly accessed bank accounts and access codes of their victims in order to illegally withdraw thousands of dollars.

Authorities obtained evidence showing that the defendants made more than 30 illegal withdrawals at financial institutions in the Chicago area between July and October 2013. The defendants were found to be in possession of hundreds of fraudulent debit cards, Madigan alleged.

“As identity thieves continue to devise more advanced schemes, it is more important than ever to keep close track of your personal financial information and quickly flag any irregularities with your bank,” Madigan said.

Bozov, 43, of Schiller Park, Kehayov, 40, of Harwood Heights, and Stoica, 26, of Chicago, were freed on $50,000 bonds. They each face up to 15 years in prison.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service and the Chicago Police Department. Assistant Attorney General Robin Murphy is handling prosecution of the cases for Madigan’s Financial Crimes Bureau.

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