U.S. Scores First Jackpotting Conviction


Argenys Rodriguez, 22, of Springfield, Mass., was sentenced on Sept. 26 to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, and a court order to pay restitution in the amount of $121,355.38 for his role in an ATM “jackpotting” scheme. The sentence, which was handed by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford, Conn., bestowed on Rodriguez the dubious honor of first American sentenced for ATM jackpotting.

According to court documents, Rodriguez’ Jan. 2018 arrest and subsequent conviction stems from malware attacks on ATM machines in Connecticut and elsewhere. Called “jackpotting,” thieves use malware designed to cause an ATM to dispense all currency contained in the machine. As part of the scheme, the thieves typically dress as repair technicians to install malware on an ATM. Other individuals then proceed to empty the machine of cash use a specially encoded card.

The attacks carried out by Rodriguez and his accomplice, Alex Alberto Fajin-Diaz, targeted bank ATMs. However, since the criminal technique is still relatively new to the U.S., independent machines may also be at risk in the future. Fajin-Diaz, a citizen of Spain, pled guilty to the same charge on June 12, 2018, and awaits sentencing.


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