GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Florida man was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Yanier Tellez, 32, currently of Tampa was sentenced to federal prison by Clifton L. Corker in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville.
According to court records, Tellez and previously a sentenced coconspirator, Lazaro Quintana Martinez, 26, traveled to East Tennessee to commit identity theft.
Both of the suspects were reported to be using one or more skimming devices to collect account numbers and personal identifying information from unsuspecting customers. The records added that the skimming device would re-encode the information onto prepaid gift cards. They would use the fraudulent cards to obtain cash, purchase money orders and purchase gift cards at local ATM machines and local point of sale terminals throughout East Tennessee.
Court records also said the surveillance footage captured them in the middle of the crime scenes at Walgreens, CVS and Kroger stores.
While returning to Florida, Tellez was stopped for a traffic violation in Lee County, and he had thumb drives containing over 300 account numbers and corresponding customer information.
Each compromised account number was over $1,400 in fraudulent transactions, according to court records.
During the traffic violation, Tellez had a counterfeit gift card in his wallet that contained the account information of a person in Greeneville, Tenn.
Martinez pled guilty to the conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. He was sentenced to 24 months in prison in the Eastern District of Tennessee and 51 months in prison in the Middle District of Florida for additional identity theft offenses.
Eastman Credit Union discovered fraudulent transactions which caused the company to lose $39,899.97. Tellez was ordered to pay the $39,8999.97 in restitution, and he will be on supervised release for three years following his release from prison.
The investigation was by the United States Secret Service, the Johnson City Police Department, the Kingsport Police Department, and the Lee County, Florida Sheriff’s Office. The investigation was led by United States Secret Service Senior Special Agent Thomas R. Whitehead.