News and Press Releases

Leader of Naval Base Credit Card Skimming Ring Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison

February 3, 2012

NORFOLK, Va. – Tiquan Savary, 25, of Norfolk, Va., was sentenced today in Norfolk federal court to seven years in prison for running a fraudulent scheme to skim credit and debit card account numbers.

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after United States District Judge Arenda Wright Allen imposed the sentence.  Savary previously pled guilty to conspiring to commit access device fraud and engaging in aggravated identity theft on October 13, 2011.

            A Norfolk federal grand jury indicted Savary and five co-defendants on July 8, 2011 on charges of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and possession of 15 or more stolen credit and debit card account numbers.  According to court documents, in December 2010, Savary and others recruited an employee of a restaurant located on Naval Station Norfolk to use a “skimmer” supplied by Savary to steal the account numbers of sailors and civilians paying for meals with a credit or debit card in exchange for the payment of $10 per card swiped.  From December 2010 through May 2011, this employee swiped the cards of approximately 185 victims, using a small handheld device which electronically captured and recorded the account information contained on the magnetic strip on the back of the cards.

            After receiving the skimmer back from the employee, Savary or other conspirators embossed and encoded the stolen account data onto newly made fake debit and credit cards in the names of the conspirators.  They then used these cards in shopping excursions at Target, Wal-Mart, and other stores from Hampton Roads to Richmond.  Savary often timed these shopping excursions with military pay days to ensure that the 185 victims’ accounts contained money.  At the stores, the conspirators bought and attempted to buy gift cards and merchandise worth approximately $163,325.

            The conspiracy ended on June 16, 2011 when federal and local investigators executed multiple search warrants for premises and vehicles used by the conspirators and arrested Savary and several others.  To date, five defendants have pled guilty and been sentenced in federal court.  Sophia Jacobs, the employee who skimmed the victims’ account data, was sentenced to two years in prison.  The following conspirators, who traveled from New York to Virginia to serve as shoppers using the fake credit cards, also received the following sentences:  (1) Tiffany Vulcain – 59 months; (2) Lloyd Harris – 28 months; and (3) Russell Harris – 1 day in prison and twelve months of home confinement.  Defendant Cherylann Taylor of New York City remains a fugitive on pending charges.

            This case was investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the United States Secret Service Financial Crimes Task Force, the Newport News Police Department, and the Sewell’s Point Police Precinct – Naval Station Norfolk.  Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Krask is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

            A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on


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