Los Angeles man convicted of ATM shoulder surfing that allowed him quickly withdraw cash after Bank of America customers left ATMs.
SANTA ANA, California – A federal judge has convicted a Los Angeles man of three counts of aggravated identity theft for using the secret pin codes of elderly Bank of America customers to make fraudulent withdrawals at ATMs in Los Angeles and Orange County.
According to the court documents, Daniel Jermaine Usher, 26, of South Los Angeles, was found guilty of 3 counts of aggravated identity theft. The verdict was issued by the Judge Cormac J. Carney, who presided over a two days bench trial.
The trial came after the defendant pleaded guilty last month to five counts of bank fraud and admitted that he illegally withdrew cash from Bank of America ATMs. Judge Carney convicted Usher on the same day the Justice Department announced cases against more than 250 defendants who targeted the elderly in fraud cases.
The evidence presented at Usher’s trial showed that defendant engaged in shoulder surfing to obtain bank customer pin numbers. Usher loitered near Bank of America ATMs and covertly watched as customers entered their pin codes to conduct various transactions. When customers left the ATMs without concluding their sessions, Usher quickly re-entered pin codes he had covertly obtained, which allowed him to fraudulently withdraw cash.
The bank account holders targeted in Usher’s shoulder-surfing activity were elderly and minority individuals. 3 victims of the identity theft charges, 2 of whom required translators at trial testified that they had not given Usher or anyone else permission to use their account information.
In his ruling, Judge found that Mr. Usher piggybacked off of the victim’s use of their ATM cards and the encoded information therein and misrepresented himself as the victims by re-entering their pin codes to withdraw funds fraudulently.
Federal Judge Carney scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 21, 2018, at which time Usher will face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for each of the 5 bank fraud counts, and a mandatory 2 years sentence for the aggravated identity theft counts.
The United States Secret Service investigated Usher’s shoulder surfing activity.