A man from Moody is due in court for sentencing later this month after he and a man from Center Point pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to defraud his former employer.
Joshua Daniel Powell, 40, of Moody, former director of Chick-fil-A at Five Points, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, according to a press release from the North Alabama District Attorney’s Office. by wire in June and is scheduled for a sentencing hearing on October 20.
U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Patrick M. Davis announced earlier this week that Larry James Black, Jr., 37, of Center Point, the former director of the home at the same location and co-accused of Powell, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud before US District Judge Madeline H. Haikala. Black’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 20, 2022.
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 implement the scheme, Black and Powell used fraudulent emails and digital payment accounts that mimicked 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 made on behalf of an additional customer. Black used the proceeds of the fraud to support his lifestyle, including the purchase of premium luxury and vacation vehicles.
In addition to plotting to defraud Chick-Fil-A Five Points, Black admitted in the plea agreement 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. As a result of these material 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.
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.