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Press Release

Federal crackdown on financial fraud and ATM skimming continues with guilty pleas

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Two Brazilian nationals plead guilty for their roles in capturing and using account information stolen from Savannah-area bank ATMs

SAVANNAH, Ga: Two Brazilian nationals who used bank customers’ account information obtained by an ATM “skimming” device have pled guilty in federal court.

Julio Lopez Da Silva, 38, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, while Anderson Santos, 41, pled guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft, in U.S. District Court in Brunswick, said United States Attorney Bobby L. Christine. Da Silva faces sentencing of up to 30 years in prison, while Santos faces a mandatory two-year sentence. There is no parole in the federal system.

The two were named in September in a six-count indictment alleging their participation in a scheme that involved placing card-reading devices on ATMs to capture customer information, and then using the information to encode blank cards to withdraw substantial amounts of money. After the men were arrested Dec. 3, 2017 in Savannah, police searched a Port Wentworth hotel where the two were staying and discovered skimming equipment and nearly $20,000 in cash. 

The guilty pleas from Da Silva and Santos follow similar recent cases in the coastal area, all involving foreign nationals operating illegal skimmers. Adrian Burloiu, 39, a Romanian national, pled guilty Dec. 11, 2018, to possessing 15 or more unauthorized access devices and now faces up to 10 years in prison. In March, Yosvel Licor Nunez, 36, was sentenced to 20 months in prison; Yampiel Granja Sotolongo, 35, was sentenced to 28 months; and Yoisel Pego Mirabal, 32, was sentenced to 27 months for their part in a scheme to operate skimmers that stole customer information at gas stations. All three men are Cuban nationals.

The cases were investigated by the United States Secret Service, along with the Rincon Police Department, Savannah Police Department, Port Wentworth Police Department, the Richmond Hill Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“These cases demonstrate the success of cooperative investigations by federal and local agencies teaming up against those who would attempt to profit from fraud and theft,’” said Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine. “Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors working together will find these criminals, no matter their national origin, and we will send them to prison.”

“One of the top priorities for the Secret Service continues to be combating computer-related crimes perpetrated by domestic and international criminals that target the U.S. financial infrastructure,” said Secret Service Resident Agent in Charge Glen Kessler. “The Secret Service, in conjunction with its many retail and law enforcement partners across the United States and around the world, continues to successfully combat these crimes by working closely with experts from all affected sectors to constantly refresh and adapt our investigative methodologies.

“The Secret Service has taken a lead role in mitigating the threat of ATM and gas pump skimming as exhibited in these cases and we will continue to place a strong emphasis on prevention and education with financial institutions, retail partners and law enforcement, “ added RAIC Kessler.

For retailers and financial institutions seeking additional information on ATM and gas pump skimming, please contact your local Secret Service Field Office at and ask to speak to the Electronic Crimes Task Force representative.


For any questions, please contact Barry Paschal at the United States Attorney’s Office at (912) 652-4422.

Updated January 28, 2019

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 02-19