News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

TUESDAY - September 14, 2010

FAYETTEVILLE DINO’S PIZZA OWNER PLEADS GUILTY

TO SCHEME INVOLVING STEALING PATRONS’ CREDIT CARD NUMBERS

GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday MARK PINELLA, 38, of Cameron, North Carolina, pled guilty before United States Magistrate Judge David W. Daniel to one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1), and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g) and 924.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on May 12, 2010.

In December, 2008, PINELLA obtained customers’ credit card numbers when the customer made a legitimate purchase of pizza from Dino’s pizza in Fayetteville, North Carolina. PINELLA would then make additional fraudulent purchases with the credit card numbers that he had obtained. PINELLA used over 183 credit card numbers from past patrons for his personal financial benefit.

The maximum penalty for aggravated identity theft is up to two years' imprisonment followed by up to one year supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. For the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the maximum penalty is up to 10 years' imprisonment followed by up to three years' supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. If PINELLA is deemed an Armed Career Criminal by the Court, the maximum penalty is up to a life-term of imprisonment followed by up to five years' supervised release. Sentencing is to be held in 90 days with no specific date identified.

This case was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods(PSN) initiative which encourages federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified “team effort” against gun crime, targeting repeat offenders who continually plague their communities.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Jane Jackson represented the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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