The suspects, identified as Vicktor Frana and Ambroz Bojan, reportedly siphoned the money through the use of "cloned" debit and credit cards, which are duplicates of legitimate accounts. The victim's account information is often obtained when a skimmer device is placed on a card reader that they use, such as at a gas pump or ATM.
On Saturday, the Bristol Tennessee Police Department was contacted by the Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union. They reported that the previous night at the Bristol branch, 1200 Bluff City Highway, two men used several different cards to withdraw large amounts of cash. They had now returned to withdraw more money.
According to a press release, when police arrived they spotted a white Mazda CX-5 pulling away from the ATM. During a subsequent traffic stop, Frana presented an international driver's license to identify himself, while Bojan presented a Czech Republic ID card. The BTPD says that both men later admitted to being in the United States illegally.
A consent search of their vehicle allegedly located 150 plastic prepaid or gift cards, a plastic bottle stuffed full of ATM receipts, and a bag containing $8,164. Police say they also discovered that the Mazda's rental car registration from Georgia had been covered up with a fraudulent temporary tag.
Frana and Bojan allegedly gave written statements admitting to using the cloned cards to obtain cash. They were arrested and each charged with 150 counts of criminal simulation. Police say that thus far, they have not confirmed the men are who they claim to be.
An investigation is continuing with additional charges pending from the Secret Service. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Investigator Eric Sargent at (423) 989-5251 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.