CHICAGO — Seventeen defendants are facing federal fraud or related charges for their
alleged roles in an international ATM skimming and money laundering scheme involving
hundreds of thousands of dollars. Two defendants were arrested in Sofia, Bulgaria, and 13
defendants were arrested yesterday in Chicago and several suburbs by FBI agents following a
lengthy international investigation.
The alleged scheme involved using ATM and debit card numbers and the personal
identification numbers associated with them, which were fraudulently obtained in Europe, to
withdraw money from victims’ accounts using automated teller machines at various locations in
the Chicago area. The charges were brought in a 29-count indictment, which was returned by a
federal grand jury on March 12 and was unsealed following the arrests and made public today.
“These charges are the result of the hard work of dedicated law enforcement personnel
both here and abroad to address a transnational crime problem that can affect virtually anyone
with a bank account and carries significant financial consequences. Cooperation with
international law enforcement agencies was crucial to the investigation, and we are grateful for
the assistance that led to these arrests,” said Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the
Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The arrests and charges were announced by Mr. Holley and Zachary T. Fardon, United
States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. They praised the cooperation of the State
Agency National Security and the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office of Cassation in Bulgaria. The
investigation is continuing, they said.
Two defendants, RADOSLAV PAVLOV, 36, of Sofia, Bulgaria, also known as “Radi,”
charged with wire fraud, and MIHAIL PETROV, 41, of Sofia, charged with wire fraud, money
laundering conspiracy and money laundering, were arrested in Sofia. The United States intends
to seek their extradition to face the charges in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The indictment
alleges that Pavlov, Petrov, and DOMENIKO EVITMOV, 46, of Chicago, who was arrested
here, were located outside the United States and fraudulently obtained ATM and debit card
numbers and PINs from locations in Europe and elsewhere without the actual account-holders’
Pavlov, Petrov, Evitmov, ALEXANDER SAVOV, 47, of Carol Stream, and others they
directed, then transferred the fraudulently obtained information, often by Skype or email, to
GEORGUI MARTOV, also known as “Mitsubishi” and “Mitsu,” 39, of Schiller Park, who
allegedly directed the scheme in the Chicago area. Martov gave the information to numerous codefendants
to make the fraudulent withdrawals from area ATMs, the charges allege, and the
defendants divided the money they obtained.

Martov and his wife, TEMENUGA KOLEVA, aka “Nushka,” 37, also of Schiller Park,
were each charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying computer files and internet
browsing history during the course of the FBI’s investigation. KOLEVA was also charged with
being an accessory after the fact to wire fraud.
Martov, Petrov, and EMIL GOSPODINOV, 44, of Chicago, who owned and operated
BG Center Rodina, located 4828 N. Cumberland Ave., in Norridge, a business that transmitted
funds via MoneyGram, among other things, were charged with money laundering conspiracy for
allegedly transmitting the fraudulently obtained funds from the United States to Bulgaria and
elsewhere. After receiving funds from Martov, Gospodinov transmitted the funds to Martov’s
alleged co-schemers outside the United States using nominee senders and receivers on the
transactions to disguise the true identities of those sending and receiving the funds.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of approximately $200,000 from 15 defendants as alleged
proceeds of the fraud, and it also seeks approximately $50,000 from Martov, Petrov and
Gospodinov as alleged proceeds of the money laundering.

The indictment alleges that once Martov obtained the ATM and debit card and PIN
information he gave it to the following defendants to fraudulently withdraw money from area
ATMs: IVAN KOTSELOV, 32, of Schiller Park; GEORGI VANGELOV, aka “Zhoro,” 26, of
Schiller Park; SVETOSLAV NEDELCHEV, aka “Svetlyo,” 28, of Chicago; DANIEL
YORDANOV, aka “Dani,” 29; DEYAN SLAVCHEV, aka “Dido,” 28, of Schiller Park; KARL
POPOVSKI, aka “Kiro Papata,” 23, of Chicago; NIKOLAY TODOROV, aka “Niketsa,” 35, of
Schiller Park; MLADEN GUEORGUIEV, 25, of Chicago; NEDISLAV GABOV, 33, of
Chicago; and DIMO DESHKOV, 28, of Chicago.
After receiving the fraudulently obtained account data, defendants Kotselov, Vangelov,
Nedelchev, Yordanov, Slavchev, Popovski, Todorov, Gueorguiev, and Gabov allegedly encoded
the data onto the magnetic strip of blank or recycled cards. Once in possession of the encoded
cards, various defendants traveled to Chicago area ATMs to withdraw funds. The defendants,
acting at Martov’s direction, made ATM withdrawals shortly before and after midnight in the
time zone of the issuing bank in an attempt to circumvent the daily withdrawal limits on the
victims’ accounts. The defendants also coordinated ATM transactions to withdraw money
before the issuing banks could detect the fraud and deactivate the ATM and debit card numbers.
Martov was charged with 22 counts of wire fraud and four counts of money laundering in
addition to the money laundering conspiracy and obstruction counts. Fourteen other defendants
were each charged with one or more counts of wire fraud. Gospodinov was charged with four
counts of money laundering in addition to the money laundering conspiracy.
Martov, his wife and 11 other defendants were arraigned yesterday and pleaded not guilty
to the charges against them before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Martin. Two defendants,
Gueorguiev and Gabov were released on bonds, while the other 11 defendants who appeared in
court yesterday remain in federal custody pending detention hearings scheduled for tomorrow
and Friday. Yordanov is a fugitive and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Todorov is in state
custody and will be arraigned on the federal charges on a date to be determined.
Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000
fine, and restitution is mandatory. Money laundering conspiracy and each count of money
laundering carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, or a fine totaling
twice the value of the funds involved in the money laundering. The obstruction of justice count
against Martov and Koleva carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and the
accessory count against Koleva carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $125,000 fine. If
convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory
United States Sentencing Guidelines.



The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott Edenfield,
Matthew Getter, and Timothy Chapman. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Burke guided the
investigation before he transferred last week from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago to the
Eastern District of Virginia. The Office of International Affairs of the Justice Department’s
Criminal Division provided assistance with this case.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of
guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the
government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Nadia Minkova
"Bulgaria SEGA" newspaper

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