UPDATE: A Florida man arrested earlier this month for using cloned debit cards to make withdraws from a First Tennessee ATM is now facing additional charges.

George Ortmeier, 39, has been charged with two counts of fraudulent use of a debit card and two counts of identity theft in East Ridge.

On June 3, identity theft victims reported to East Ridge Police that $480 had been taken from withdrawn from their bank account, according to the court document.

"The victims in the case had maintained physical possession of the debit card which indicated that its information and the victim's associated personal identification number (PIN) had at some point been fraudulently obtained," the report explained.

Bank documentation confirmed the fraudulent transaction. The victims were also charged a $3.00 ATM charge.

The victims were credited for the $483 that had been taken from their account. 

Ortmeier was identified as the suspect by East Ridge Police during the investigation. ATM surveillance footage confirmed Ortmeier made the fraudulent transaction.

Ortmeier has already been charged in Chattanooga with:

  • Criminal Simulation (x17)
  • Registration, Expired
  • Driving without drivers license/ expired license

Channel 3 will keep you updated as we learn more.


PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga Police are encouraging citizens to check their bank accounts after a Florida man was arrested Sunday evening for using cloned debit cards to make withdraws at a First Tennessee ATM.

George Ortmeier, 39, was observed by a CPD sergeant making withdrawals at a bank on Brainerd Road, according to the arrest affidavit.

The sergeant found that Ortmeier had numerous magnetic stripe cards and cash in his possession.

Ortmeier was arrested and taken to the Chattanooga Police Service Center. A United States Service Agent and another CPD officer were brought in for a follow-up with Ortmeier.

They seized the cards and cash and read Ortmeier his rights, which he said he understood. They had him sign a consent to search his vehicle and cell phones as well.

The USSS agent checked the 17 cards Ortmeier had and found the numbers on the cards did not match the ones encoded on the respective card's magnetic stripe. The stripes had been re-encoded with information from other bank accounts. "Somewhere along the lines there was a skimming device placed on an ATM, gas pump, or point of sale inside the store. Able to collect the data from the debit card and pin number then put on a different card to use," said Charles Petty with the Chattanooga Police Department. 

The cards also had pin numbers written on stickers attached to them.

Ortmeier had banded the used cards together with ATM receipts and cash.

CPD said there are numerous additional cards under investigation and other charges are pending. 

"Investigators discovered that the suspect had 102 re-encoded credit cards which contained stolen debit card information," a CPD spokesperson said.

Ortmeier told police he was given the cards to make withdrawals from the bank.

George Ortmeier faces the following charges:

  • Criminal Simulation (x17)
  • Registration, Expired
  • Driving without drivers license/ expired license

"The Chattanooga Police would like to encourage our citizens to check their bank statements to see if they have been a victim of debit card fraud," a CPD spokesperson explained. "If you find that you are a victim, contact your bank as well as the Chattanooga Police Department to make a report of the loss."

“We are cooperating with law enforcement following incidents of unauthorized ATM transactions in Chattanooga,” said Jeff Jackson, First Tennessee’s market president in Chattanooga. “We encourage customers to review their accounts carefully and to report any suspicious activity by calling our Card Claims Center at 877-242-9895.”

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