Armed with ATM cards and a little-known federal regulation, four old college buddies used a “beaut of a scam” to rip off Brooklyn banks for $422,000.
The four, who studied finance together at NYU, exploited a regulation that requires banks to repay customers who claimed their ATM cards were lost or stolen within 10 days, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said.
Using something known in the banking world as Regulation E of the Federal Electronic Funds Transfer Act, the four cleaned out their accounts and put in claims for some $700,000 over five years, prosecutors said…
Cameras caught defendants taking the money out, but they were almost always wearing motorcycle helmets or some other covering to protect their identities, Hynes said.
“They thought that nobody was looking,” Brooklyn rackets chief Michael Vecchione said. “But these institutions have massive data bases and it’s just a matter of time when they cross-reference them and people get caught…”
Eric Manganelli, 36, a lawyer; Lam Dang, 37, a financial consultant; and John Tluczek, 37; and his wife, Marzena Tluczek, 35, who both have worked for banks over the years, face multiple counts of grand larceny, falsifying business records and other charges.
Each faces 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison for the top counts. Hynes vowed to ask for consecutive time, if they are convicted.
The rule isn’t so obscure, though – except maybe to journalists. Believe me, the banking IT folks I chat with all knew about it.