$36K in losses reported after skimmers found in Brunswick County

BOLIVIA, NC (WBTW) – One man was extradited to North Carolina this week for his role in a scam involving card readers that led to $35,945 in losses in Brunswick County alone.

Gerry Agopian of Burbank, California was delivered to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office June 29 around 11:40 p.m. on warrants for obtaining property by false pretense, conspiracy to commit obtaining property by false pretense, accessing government computers to defraud and credit card theft with scanning device.  Other charges will be forthcoming, the release from the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators believe Agopian conspired with others to travel down the east coast in December of 2016 and install card readers on ATMs and gas pumps. Once credit card information was stolen, the suspects made fake credit cards to obtain money and products.

The total reported losses to this group was about $35,945 in Brunswick County, according to the sheriff’s office. “Investigations are ongoing in multiple jurisdictions and states, including assistance from federal authorities regarding similar crimes committed across the country,” the press release says.

Agopian was identified by LA International Airport Police in June while trying to board a flight and arrested.  Agopian waived extradition in California and was transported to Brunswick County by the North Carolina Department of Corrections extradition team.

Four other people have been charged for their role in the scheme, investigators say.

Khactatur Zakaryan of California  is currently in federal custody in Nevada for the same charges as Agopian.  Zakaryan will be returned to Brunswick County once proceedings for pending charges in Nevada are completed.

Armen Khachatryan and  Harutyun Hovhannisyan are also wanted on the same charges, but have not yet been caught.

Agopian is currently being held under a $250,000 bond.