Former Chick-fil-A Employee Pleads Guilty to Fund Theft Project | USAO-NDAL
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – A former Chick-fil-A employee today pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to defraud his former employer and commit bank fraud, U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and the U.S. special agent of the American secret service in charge Patrick M. Davis.
Larry James Black, Jr., 37, of Center Point, the former hospitality manager of Chick-fil-A Five Points, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud before U.S. District Judge Madeline H Haikala. Black’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 20, 2022. Black’s co-accused, Joshua Daniel Powell, 40, of Moody’s, a former manager at the same location, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud in June. Powell’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 20, 2021.
According to the plea agreement, between April 2018 and January 2018, Black and Powell devised and implemented a plan to divert $ 492,000 in customer payments to bank accounts under their control. Black and Powell used these accounts to receive customer credit card payments destined for Chick-fil-A Five Points. Many of these payments were for large customer catering orders. To execute the scheme, Black and Powell used fraudulent emails and digital payment accounts mimicking the appearance of official Chick-fil-A accounts. In addition to these fraudulent “Chick-fil-A” accounts, Black and Powell also used a personal email account owned by Powell to intercept virtual credit card payments that have been made on behalf of an additional customer. Black used the proceeds of fraud to support his lifestyle, including the purchase of high-end luxury vehicles and vacations.
In addition to plotting to defraud Chick-Fil-A Five Points, Black admitted in the plea deal that he provided a fake social security number to various financial institutions and executed a scheme to defraud his mortgage lender. In January 2020, Black applied for a mortgage. As part of his loan application, Black falsified payroll records and misrepresented his income from the Chick-fil-A franchise. Because of these significant misrepresentations, Black was able to secure a mortgage in the amount of $ 159,948.00 to finance the purchase of a home in Center Point, Alabama.
Black and Powell face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for conspiring to commit wire fraud. Black also faces a maximum of 30 years in prison for bank fraud.
The US Secret Service Cyber Fraud Task Force investigated the case. Assistant US Attorney Edward J. Canter continued the case.