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Man Sentenced to Prison for ATM Jackpotting

A 22-year-old man from Springfield, Massachusetts, has been sentenced to prison for his role in an ATM jackpotting scheme.

Argenys Rodriguez will spend 12 months and one day in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. He has also been ordered to pay over $121,000 in restitution.

Rodriguez, who in June pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, was released on a $250,000 bond. He has been ordered to report to prison on November 26.

Rodriguez and a 32-year-old Spanish citizen, Alex Alberto Fajin-Diaz, were arrested in late January while they were attempting to steal money from a hacked ATM belonging to Citizens Bank in Cromwell. Fajin-Diaz has also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and awaits sentencing.

According to authorities, the men were involved in what is known as a “jackpotting” scheme, where fraudsters install malware on an ATM to make it dispense all the money it contains. The scheme involves some members of the conspiracy dressing up as technicians to install the malware, while others come to extract the cash.

At the time of their arrest, Rodriguez and Fajin-Diaz were near an ATM that had been in the process of dispensing $20 bills. A search of their vehicle led to the discovery of $5,600 in cash.

The investigation revealed that they had stolen over $63,000 from the same ATM earlier in the day, and that they had taken another $63,000 from a different Citizens Bank ATM in Rhode Island a few days earlier.

The Department of Justice noted after Rodriguez entered a guilty plea that he had been facing up to 30 years in prison for his crimes.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.