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Canadian man jailed for 8 yrs over 4 million dollars McDonald's scam

Melbourne, Fri, 23 Mar 2012 ANI

Melbourne, Mar 23 (ANI): A Canadian man, Navaneeth Ponnambalam, has been awarded eight years imprisonment on Friday for skimming cards scam of 4 million dollars at McDonald restaurant.

He has been sentenced by the Perth's District Court for the scam, which affected 4500 West Australians.

He is allegedly accused for stealing cards worth of 4 million dollars from 220 McDonald's restaurant between October and December in 2009.

The sufferers became victims of compromised PIN pads installed at the restaurant around Perth.

Judge Bruce Goetze said Ponnambalam flew from Sydney, where he was living at the time, to Perth three times to prepare and install the customised PIN pads on Eftpos machines in the drive-through sections of the food outlets.

The bank details of future Eftpos users were then scanned, and transferred onto blank bankcards that were used at various ATMs around the world to withdraw money.

"The idea was to make the withdrawals, as many as possible, quickly, before the banks ascertained the skimming took place," quoted the judge as saying.

Judge Goetze said the operation involved a "highly sophisticated degree of criminality".

He said card skimming was attractive for criminals because of a "combination of low risk and high returns", and Ponnambalam's sentence must reflect the need for general deterrence.

Judge Goetze added the scam troubled the customers, as they could not withdraw any money from their accounts after being targeted.

Ponnambalam will be eligible for parole after he has served six years in prison.

His sentence was backdated to when he was taken into custody in December 2009.

He was also ordered to pay compensation of more than 4 million dollars. (ANI)

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