SALT LAKE CITY — The point man involved in "jackpotting" a number of ATMs in Utah and Washington to the tune of more than $300,000 is headed to federal prison.
Josshua Perez Rivas, 39, played a significant role in organizing what was a sophisticated international conspiracy to steal from U.S. banks, according to a sentencing memorandum in U.S. District Court.
Perez Rivas is among seven men — all Venezuelan nationals — charged in the theft of $306,200 from five ATMs in Washington and one in Sandy in 2017 and 2018. They also tried to "jackpot" two additional ATMs in Salt Lake City before being arrested during the Sandy crime.
The men used software and equipment to reprogram ATM computers to direct the machines to dispense cash until empty — a scheme sometimes called jackpotting.
"The plot is remarkable for its technological sophistication and for the number of participants recruited to help ensure its success. It is a plot that requires significant planning and expertise,” according to federal prosecutors.
Perez Rivas compromised the ATM computers and installed the software in almost every instance. He appears to have been the point person for communications between the team on the ground and those who developed the malware, prosecutors said.
The men had false identifications and stolen credit card numbers to allow them to rent hotel rooms and vehicles without leaving a record of their identities, according to prosecutors.3 comments on this story
Computer files with approximately 600 credit card numbers that appear to have been stolen were found on data storage devices in the suitcases of one of the men.
Perez Rivas was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison in late February after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank theft in December.
Another man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank theft and was sentenced to one year in prison. Three others have entered guilty pleas and will be sentenced in May. Cases are pending for two others charged in the scheme.