DURANT, OK -- Two men have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. Durant Police say the men, along with other people, stole money from about 270 local accounts by stealing debit card numbers and PINS.
The men were arrested back in July thanks to a team effort by the Durant Police Department, the Muskogee Police Department and the United States Secret Service, but it's one Durant detective who is getting a big pat on the back for the capture of the two men.
Authorities say from about April of 2012 to January 2013, 50-year-old Kevin Konstantinov and 36-year-old Elvin Alisuretove used a skimming device at several Oklahoma gas stations to obtain information from hundreds of accounts. Investigators say about $130,000 dollars were stolen in the Durant area alone.
"Back in December of last year, our departments along with the banks were kind of overwhelmed with people coming and reporting fraud to their debit accounts," Shufeldt said.
It took nearly a year, but Durant Detective Michael Shufeldt never gave up and recently helped track the two men down.
"We were able to first identify where the compromise occurred at one of the gas stations, and then working real close with all the banks we were able to determine exactly which ATMs the money was being withdrawn from," Shufeldt said.
When investigators had identified the suspects Shufeldt traveled to Seattle to assist in making one of the arrests.
"Oh it was exciting, a lot of hard work finally payed off," Shufeldt said.
Shufeldt says he was just doing his job, but District Attorney Investigator David Cathey says Shufledt does not give himself enough credit.
"His diligence was the key that opened the door to making the case here and making some significant arrests," Cathey said.
First United Bank in Durant was one of those hit by the thieves. While their customers were reimbursed they had to absorb the loss. Executive Vice President Scott Flowers says he is impressed with all the agencies who worked hard to get these high tech criminals off the streets.
"When this stuff happens we intervene we take care of the customer, we move on. We don't really always hear what happens... so it's great to know that," Flowers said.
While Shufeldt is getting a lot of thanks he has a thank you of his own.
"Thank you to everyone who was involved and made it possible because without everybody these guys would still be on the street, stealing money," Shufeldt said
The United States Attorney's Office says the men will remain in custody of the U.S. Marshal Service until their sentencing.