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Fremont Police Arrest Los Angeles Quartet For String Of Debit Card And Identity Theft Offenses

By Chase Rimmer / November 5, 2018

Since the turn of the year, Fremont police have arrested four men in connection with a transnational criminal organization which includes debit card skimming, identity theft and conspiracy. Each year, 15 million Americans have their identities fraudulently used and the resulting loss can be as much as $50 billion. Therefore, the news that four suspected perpetrators are being investigated is significant news for the state and the country. These arrests aren’t the first alleged crime involving an ATM in the area, either. Identity theft is a serious crime and those found guilty can receive a maximum sentence of 25 years in a Federal prison. Therefore, it’s vital those accused of the crime and their victims seek legal support from an attorney as soon as possible.

The first arrests

29-year-old Iurii Osetskyi of Studio City was the first to be picked up after being spotted making multiple transactions totaling $3,800 at an ATM, but was found not to be carrying an ATM card. Although, a significant number of gift cards were found in his possession. Officers later detained Iurii’s brother, 37-year-old Denys Osetskyi, also of Studio City, after he reported his brother missing and police searched his motel room where they are alleged to have found further cards, cash and electronics. The gift cards found had the debit card details and pin numbers of multiple Bay Area citizens. A further three individuals are believed to be involved in the operation, however, no further arrests have been made. To date, the brothers have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, identity theft and computer intrusion. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, identity theft hit its highest ever statistics in 2017, with 16.7 million individuals affected. How many of these individuals were victims of this case remains to be seen.

Related case

27-year-old Vasiliy Polyak of Montebello, a relative of the Oestskyi’s, was picked up in February when a search of his vehicle found multiple skimming devices and a number of cloned debit cards. A fourth man, 49-year-old Artak Harutyunyan of North Hollywood, was later picked up when skimming devices, cloned cards and a significant amount of cash were found in his motel room. In this case, both men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, identity theft, possession of skimming devices and computer intrusion.

Identity theft

The definition of identity theft is defined in The Fair Credit Reporting Act as“a fraud committed or attempted using the identifying information of another person without authority.” In 1998, legislation was passed making identity theft a misdemeanor crime. The law was reformed the following year upgrading it to an alternate felony/misdemeanor crime. A good attorney will battle to keep their clients accused of identity theft out of prison and will build a solid defense case to be used in court.

Although the above arrests are currently being treated as two individual cases, police believe both could be linked to a transnational criminal organization and the cases against all four men are still under investigation. Sergeant Ricardo Cortes of Fremont Police Department said of the arrests “It sounds like this is fairly sophisticated, there are ties to L.A. County, they had a significant amount of money, various gift cards,” after it was revealed they likely stole individuals’ card details at gas stations. Although, these cases involved debit card fraud, it could just as easily involved credit cards, too. Therefore, the advice for those paying for gas by card, such as via a 0% interest credit card, is to pay inside at the cashier desk rather than at the pump.

The police are still hunting for the remaining three suspects of interest and are keen to speak to anyone who may know anything about the alleged crimes that have taken place.

Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/I8OhOu-wLO4

About the author

Chase Rimmer

Chase is an expert in finance and uses his expertise and understanding of links between different financial products and life stages to analyze the latest finance news and products. When he's not writing you can find him in first class using his credit card points. Or staying at home with his cat if he's not saved enough yet!

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