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Press Release

Man in U.S. Illegally is Sentenced to Prison for Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft

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

ERIE, Pa. - An individual believed to have entered the United States illegally in March 2018 has been sentenced in federal court to 42 months in jail and ordered to pay $106,341.07 in restitution on his conviction of access device fraud and aggravated identity theft, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

United States District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter imposed the sentence on Janos Vaczi, 51.

According to information presented to the court, from March 2018 to June 22, 2019, Vaczi and his co-conspirators installed ATM skimming equipment on numerous ATM machines throughout Northwest Pennsylvania. The skimming equipment unlawfully captured the bank account and personal identity information of numerous individuals. Vaczi and his cohorts then placed the unlawfully captured information on to other cards which they then used at various ATM machines to unlawfully obtain thousands of dollars in victim funds.

During the investigation, the FBI searched a storage locker that Vaczi had rented in the Pittsburgh area. Inside the storage locker the FBI discovered hundreds of cards that contained stolen bank account information which enabled Vaczi and his co-conspirators to use the cards at various ATM machines to steal funds from the victims’ bank accounts. Vaczi’s storage locker also contained $10,000, ATM skimming equipment and numerous fake passports and international driver’s licenses bearing Vaczi’s picture but with different names.
Shortly before the FBI apprehended Vaczi, he attempted to bury hundreds of cards containing stolen identity information near a grocery store in the Pittsburgh area. Agents noticed that the ground had been disturbed in the area where Vaczi had been standing and discovered the cards shortly thereafter.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

Acting United States Attorney Kaufman commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Vaczi.

Updated November 15, 2021

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft