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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 6, 2018

Undocumented Romanian National Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Memphis, TN – The United States charged an undocumented alien with committing fraud at automated teller machines in the Germantown and Memphis area. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced the guilty plea today.

According to the charging instrument and plea hearing, in June 2018, Cristian Balazs-Andras, 24, was arrested at First Tennessee Bank in Germantown after he attempted to use gift cards with re-encoded stolen credit and debit card numbers at the ATM. He was in possession of 68 fraudulent gift cards. Balazs-Andras was also seen via video surveillance using electronic skimming devices and other machines to commit fraud for financial gain at Sun Trust Bank throughout the Memphis area.

On December 3, 2018, Balazs-Andras pleaded guilty to two-counts of access device fraud. The maximum penalty is 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for each charge. The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on February 1, 2019 by U.S. District Court Judge Sheryl H. Lipman.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Access device fraud, skimming scams, and debit/credit card theft victimizes innocent citizens and compromises the security of banks. Protecting the integrity of financial institutions and transactions is a top priority of this office, and this case demonstrates that such crimes of dishonesty for financial gain do not pay. We commend the U.S. Secret Service for solving this case and helping us bring this thief to justice."

The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Damon Keith Griffin is prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.

Contact: 
Cherri Green Public Information Officer Cherri.Green@usdoj.gov 901-544-4231
Updated December 6, 2018