Two Atlanta men indicted for East Ridge ATM "skimmer" fraud
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- A federal grand jury in Chattanooga returned a 39 count indictment on February 29, against Chris Svetlinov Dragiev, a.k.a. Koycho Dragive, a.k.a. Svetlin Dragive, 28, of Kennesaw, Ga., and Atanas G. Georgiev, 29, of Atlanta, Ga., for conspiring to use and possess counterfeit bank ATM cards, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
Georgiev is scheduled to appear in court on March 7 at 2:00 p.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Lee in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga. Dragiev has not been apprehended. If any individual knows of Dragiev's whereabouts, they should contact their local U.S. Secret Service office.
The indictment alleges that Dragiev and Georgiev conspired to use and possess counterfeit bank ATM cards to obtain money from Regions Bank customers. Bank account numbers and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) were obtained through the use of a "skimmer," a device that was surreptitiously attached to a Regions Bank ATM in East Ridge, Tenn., in September and October 2011.
The skimmer recorded these numbers when customers accessed their accounts. Blank gift cards that match the size and shape of a bank ATM card and include a magnetic strip were then re-coded with the bank account information and allegedly used to withdraw cash from the customers' accounts using ATMs in Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. Dragiev and Georgiev were found in possession of 39 counterfeit ATM cards and $3,920 in cash in October 2011.
If convicted, Dragiev and Georgiev each face a term of up to five years in prison on Count One, up to 30 years in prison on Count Two, up to 10 years in prison for each crime in Counts Three through 21, and a consecutive two year term of imprisonment for each crime in Counts 22 through 39.
If convicted on all counts, the pair also face fines of up to $6,000,000, supervised release for a period of up to five years, and $71,880 in restitution and forfeitures.
This indictment 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, Georgia Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg L. Sullivan will represent the United States.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.