WINNIPEG - A Quebec man arrested in a sophisticated debit card skimming scam that milked nearly $150,000 from local cardholders has been sentenced to two years in prison.
Elia Yazigi pleaded guilty Monday to 20 fraud and theft related offences and one count of committing an offence to benefit a criminal organization.
Court heard Yazigi, 21, and two co-accused, none of whom live in Manitoba, visited six local restaurants and businesses last spring and summer and surreptitiously replaced their debit card keypads with a dummy device. Yazigi and his co-accused altered the keypads before returning them later in the day, after which they would use a tablet or cell phone to wirelessly download the debit or credit card data.
Yaziga was arrested Aug. 22 after security video "caught him in the act" at an Asia City restaurant, Crown attorney Terry McComb told court. When arrested, Yazigi was found in possession of an 80-business "hit list."