Feds crack down on credit card skimmers

U.S. District Court judge the honorable J. Ronnie Greer has sentenced two suspects in a case of wire fraud and identity theft. Amaurys Mendez Campanon, 40, of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft involving credit card skimmers. Campanon was sentenced on Aug. 29 to a total 57 months in federal prison.

Odemnis Pras Leiva also pleaded guilty and was sentenced in July to 54 months confinement.

Campanon and Leiva were captured just over one year ago in Rogersville as a result of an ongoing investigation by law enforcement. At the time of their arrests, Leiva was in possession of nine unlawfully re-encoded devices. He also had $7,020.25 in cash and numerous gift cards on his person.

From Aug. 7-10 of last year, Campanon and Leiva purchased credit and debit card account information pertaining to numerous persons without their knowledge. The two men used the fraudulently obtained information to re-encode unloaded gift cards, which they shoplifted from various retail establishments, according to the plea agreement.

The re-encoded cards were, in effect, converted credit cards bearing the account information of the victims. These cards were used to purchase loaded gift cards and other consumer items at various retail establishments across east Tennessee and elsewhere.

As part of his plea agreement, Campanon was ordered to pay $21,114.84 in restitution. Upon release, he will serve three additional years in federal probation.

This investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service and the Johnson City and Rogersville Police Departments.

Assistant U.S. Attorney TJ Harker represented the United States, during the court proceedings.