Florida And Illinois Residents Indicted For Conspiracy And Identity Theft
BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted a Florida woman and a man from Illinois for conspiracy, attempted bank fraud and identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Roy Sexton.
ANTONIO VELIKOV, 41, and MARIANA BISEROVA PASHOVA, 35, face two counts alleging conspiracy and attempt to defraud Regions Bank. The pair also faces two counts related to debit-card fraud and a count of aggravated identity theft.
“Having your identity stolen is a crime that seriously affects you if you become a victim,” Vance said. “We are all entitled to use an ATM machine without worrying our financial security will be compromised,” she said. “My office will aggressively prosecute criminal schemes like this one so we can all feel more secure.”
The indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges that VELIKOV and PASHOVA traveled to the Birmingham area, where they tried to attach a secret device on a Regions Bank ATM in an effort to secretly obtain debit card numbers of people using the teller machine. The indictment also charges that the pair possessed more than 15 counterfeit debit cards and the equipment needed to make such counterfeit cards. They also are charged with aggravated identity theft.
Upon conviction, VELIKOV and PASHOVA each faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for conspiracy to defraud Regions Bank and another 30 year term for attempt to defraud the bank. For each of those counts, they also face a fine of up to $1 million.
If convicted of possessing the counterfeit debit cards, VELIKOV and PASHOVA each could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison; and they could face as much as 15 years in custody for possessing the equipment to make such cards. They also face a mandatory two-year sentence if convicted of aggravated identity theft. For each of these three crimes, VELIKOV and PASHOVA could be fined as much as $250,000.
The U.S. Secret Service and the Hoover Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa K. Atwood is prosecuting the case.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
If you believe your organization has expertise or resources that could improve outcomes for ex-offenders re-entering society, please e-mail our Community Outreach Coordinator at Jeremy.Sherer@usdoj.gov
or call 205-244-2019.
The Office of U.S. Attorney
Joyce White Vance
Natural Disaster Fraud Hotline
Members of the public can report fraud, waste, abuse or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations through the Hotline, toll free, at (866) 720-5721 or the Disaster Fraud e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the News Release Justice Department Officials Raise Awareness of Disaster Fraud Hotline