A 29-year-old Atlanta man was sentence to three years and four months in federal prison after pleading guilty to "skimming" $72,000 with another man from area Regions bank machines.
Atanas Georgiev admitted that he and Chris Dragiev, 28, of Kennesaw, Ga. used counterfeit ATM cards to skim personal identification numbers of bank customers in East Ridge, and North Carolina and South Carolina, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's office.
Investigators caught Georgiev in Nashville October 2011 with 39 counterfeit cards and nearly $4,000 in cash.
Dragiev remains at large, he is described as a white male, about 6-feet-tall, weighing 188 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.
"Financial fraud occurs too often in our society. Whether it is a credit, debit or ATM card, or in another form, the U.S. Attorney's Office will actively pursue and prosecute those who violate federal criminal law. Knowledge of fraud of this nature should be reported to the Secret Service or the FBI," said U. S. Attorney Bill Killian.
The pair used blank Walmart gift cards re-coded with personal bank information to extract the cash from skimmed accounts.
They stole $72,480 over four days using the cards, according to the release.
Police with departments in Chattanooga, East Ridge, Nashville, Dalton, Ga. and agents with the U.S. Secret Service worked on the investigation.
For more see tomorrow's Times Free Press.