Man Charged In Bank Skimmer Case Gets 38-Month Federal Sentence; Must Repay Regions Bank $72,480

Friday, November 09, 2012
Atanas G. Georgiev
Atanas G. Georgiev

One of two men involved in the placement of a bank card “skimmer” at Regions Banks in Dalton and East Ridge last year, was sentenced Thursday to serve 38 months in federal prison and ordered to repay the bank $72,480.

 Atanas G. Georgiev, 29, of 8193 Brookwood Valley Circle, Atlanta, appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. He remains free on bond, but must report to prison on Dec. 10.

The other man, Chris Svetlinov Dragiev, 28, of Kennesaw, Ga., was arrested on state charges and is now a fugitive after making bond. Both men are natives of Bulgaria, but are American citizens.

They were arrested shortly after another skimmer device was placed on an ATM at another bank in Nashville.

Authorities said the skimmers allowed the pair to obtain magnetic strip account information on Regions customers. Also, a small camera allowed them access to customer PIN numbers.

They used blank Walmart gift cards that were recoded with the customer account information and could be used to take money from customer accountants at ATMs.

Authorities said the pair traveled to several states, including Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, getting money from ATMs.  

Authorities who had been searching for the pair finally detected them at an ATM at Dickerson Pike in the Nashville area.

When investigators started checking video feeds from other ATMs nearby, they saw the suspects covering an ATM camera with a sticky note at approximately 4:30 p.m. They made contact with metro Nashville Police Department who pulled over the suspects’ vehicle, a silver Volkswagen Tourag, near Opryland shortly afterward.

The suspects had the keys to an Audi in the car with them, and investigators believe that they changed cars after using a red Audi in the Dalton incident.

Authorities said the skimmer device was placed at the East Ridge Regions Bank ATM in late September or early October 2011.

Secret Service Agent Douglas Dale said the total take from about 75 customers was computed to be $75,130 from customers. He said some customers apparently did not report their losses to the bank or ask for a refund.

He said when they were arrested, hats and sunglasses were found in the vehicle. He said they wore those to help disguise themselves.

They also had 39 recoded Walmart gift cards with them.

The agent said a GPS device found with them was analyzed and the route matched that where ATMs had been used to withdraw money from the accounts of the customers.

Gregg Sullivan prosecuted the case for the government. 

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said, “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.”

The conviction is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, Chattanooga Police Department, East Ridge Police Department, Metro Nashville Police Department, and Dalton, Ga., Police Department.

 


Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Nov. 21-26

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for Nov. 21-26: Christopher Sterling Holcombe, 38, of 1606 Bussell Place, Fort Oglethorpe was arrested November 20 on charges of possession of firearm at public gathering and possession of firearm by convicted felon.   Atlanta Shannice Dixon, 22, of 2113 Union Avenue, Fort Oglethorpe was arrested November 21 on charges of ... (click for more)

Crime Stoppers: Murder Of James Richard Harris

Crime Stoppers and the Walker County Sheriff’s Office are seeking information on the homicide of James Richard Harris.   On Dec. 22, 1994, at approximately 7:41 a.m., the Walker County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1610 Boss Road in Chickamauga for a body in the driveway. The body was identified as that of 54-year-old James Richard Harris who resided at that address and ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful 2014

Over 40 years ago I was a young sports writer when I came up with the notion of setting daily things aside, just for one day, and writing about why “I Am Thankful.” Every Thanksgiving I come up with my list and it is as much about me as it is about my gratitude for all things great and small. I can’t imagine approaching this day in any other way. Here we go … I AM THANKFUL for ... (click for more)

Alcoa, A Prep Football Gold Standard, Up Next For Irish

Notre Dame almost had a crack at powerful Alcoa in the 2013 TSSAA football playoff semifinal round. But, in the quarterfinals, Alcoa beat Christian Academy of Knoxville, 42-14, but the Fighting Irish dropped a 19-10 decision to Upperman, which was crushed, 75-18, a week later by the Tornadoes. Alcoa clipped Christ Presbyterian Academy, 25-7, in the state championship game. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Women Shock No.4 Tennessee, 67-63

Before the season started some people across the country called Chattanooga women’s basketball coach Jim Foster crazy for scheduling three top 10 teams – Notre Dame (national runner-up) Stanford and Tennessee - before Christmas. After Wednesday night’s UTC shocking 67-63 home win against No.4 Tennessee before 4,160, those same folks might believe coach Foster is crazy like ... (click for more)