Wednesday, February 6, 2013
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Gwinnett Daily Post
ATLANTA -- A Gwinnett man was sentenced to federal prison time Wednesday for his role in a large-scale credit card theft ring that involved a Lawrenceville business.
A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Norman Uriah Simmonds, 33, of Lilburn to serve 8 years, 6 months in prison and ordered him to pay more than $107,000 in restitution. He will also serve three years of supervised release following his prison term.
Between June 2009 and Nov. 2010, Simmonds and 10 co-conspirators -- including 20-year-old Lawrenceville resident Vanessa Echeverry -- used electronic skimming devices to copy and store credit and debit card numbers at a number of metro Atlanta restaurants and retailers. The businesses affected included restaurants in Columbus, a McDonald's in Atlanta and Polished Nail Salon in Lawrenceville.
After retrieving the data, the defendants, who have all pleaded guilty, transferred the account information to the magnetic stripes of blank white plastic cards for gift cards.
"This case demonstrates that consumers need to be awware of the risks of using credit cards," U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, "and that they need to check their accounts regularly for unexplained purchases or activity."
A second defendant, Steven Michael Jackson of Atlanta, was also sentenced Wednesday to serve just over five years in prison. Echeverry, the Lawrenceville woman, is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 13.