Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

A former smoke shop owner pleaded guilty in federal court to skimming information from debit and credit cards belonging to 300 victims. The Seattle P-I reported that:

Hrant "Mike" Aslanyan, who owned and operated Smoker's Choice in Redmond, was charged with stealing about $250,000 from customers between 2005 and his arrest in August 2006. … While routinelyprocessing customers' purchases at the smoke shop, Aslanyan would also run debit or credit cards through "a skimmer" to capture financial information from the card's magnetic stripe, authorities said. He and others in the scheme would use the information to make unauthorized bank withdrawals and charges on those victims' cards.


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