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Press Release

York County Man Charged With Using Skimming Device To Commit Bank Fraud And Identity Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that yesterday a federal Grand Jury in Harrisburg charged Jeshua Paonessa-Velez, age 24, a York City resident with bank fraud and identity theft.  Paonessa-Velez is not in custody.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, the indictment charges that between November 1 and November 7, 2014, Paonessa-Velez devised a scheme to obtain money from Adams County National Bank by placing a “skimming” device on one of the bank’s ATMs, capturing identification information of bank customers using that ATM, loading that information onto access devices, and making purchases with those access devices. 

The indictment also charges Paonessa-Velez with 12 counts of aggravated identity theft for stealing the means of identification of 12 of the bank’s customers.

This matter was investigated by the Harrisburg Resident Office of the United States Secret Service and the Southwestern Regional (York County) Police Department.  Prosecution has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. Clancy.

The Adams County National Bank and the retail establishments where Paonessa-Velez allegedly made the purchases using the stolen identities cooperated in the investigation. The bank reimbursed all of the affected customers for the losses to their accounts.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law for the bank fraud offense is 30 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.  The penalty for aggravated identity theft is 2 years of imprisonment consecutive to any sentence imposed for the underlying bank fraud offense.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated February 4, 2016