Owners Of ATM Firm Charged With Theft

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The former owners of an ATM-servicing company were charged last week with a scheme that allegedly looted millions of dollars from credit union and bank ATMs they were hired to fill with cash.

Daniel Antolini III, 47, and his wife, Peggy Antolini, both of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., were charged with commingling cash from CU and bank clients of Executive Cash Services and using some funds to finance personal expenses, like the purchase of an airplane and a gas station.

If the scheme sounds familiar, that's because it is. The Antolinis eventually sold Executive Cash to four individuals, three of whom later looted as much as $50 million from hundreds of credit unions and banks contracting with the cash servicer after it was renamed as Tri-State Armored Services.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Norv McAndrew, who prosecuted both cases, said they do not have proof that the new owners of the ATM servicer, Daniel Feuker, Barry Chesla and William Mottin, learned the scheme from Antolini, who sold them the business in 1997. "We can't prove he told Mottin and Feuker what he was doing," said McAndrew.

Feuker, Chesla and Mottin were convicted last year of the ATM scheme and are currently serving prison terms for what authorities say was the largest scheme ever to rob ATMs. Another six individuals were convicted on charges related to the scheme.

The scheme cost more than 200 institutions in New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware, including 60 credit unions, more than $50 million in losses. CUNA Mutual Insurance paid the credit unions more than $5 million to make them whole and is currently suing Great American Insurance, Tri-State's insurer, to recover those funds. A CUNA Mutual official said last week their case is still pending.

Thomas Subranni, the receiver for the Tri-State case, said last week the estate has sold off all of the company's assets and is still more than $20 million short on claims filed against it. A suit against Great American to recover those funds is scheduled for trial in federal court here in August. Daniel Antolini, the apparent forerunner to the much larger conspiracy, was charged last week with bank fraud, cash structuring and tax evasion. His wife was charged with tax evasion. McAndrew said under the scheme credit unions and banks would wire their funds for use in ATM replenishment to an escrow account at Executive Cash but the company would commingle them into a single account. The funds were then used for operating expenses for the business, as well as the Antolinis' personal expenses, he said. The scheme was uncovered when CoreStates Bank discovered a $1-million discrepancy during a routine audit and alerted authorities, said McAndrew.

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