Chick-fil-A Workers Sent Over $100K in Customer Payments to Their Own Accounts: DoJ

Two former Chick-fil-A employees in Alabama have been charged with allegedly conspiring to defraud the company by diverting payments made at the fast food restaurant where they worked directly into their own bank accounts.

Larry James Black Jr., 37, of Center Point, the former director of hospitality at Chick-fil-A in the Five Points area of Birmingham, and Joshua Daniel Powell, 40, of Moody, a former manager at the same location, have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud.

Black is also charged with bank fraud and misuse of a social security number.

The pair are alleged to have devised and implemented a scheme to divert hundreds of thousands of dollars in customer payments between April 2018 and January 2020.

The Chick-fil-A employees used fraudulent email and digital payment accounts to trick customers and divert payments for food orders and other restaurant sales into bank accounts which were under their personal control, according to a 16-count indictment announced in a joint statement issued Wednesday by U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Patrick M. Davis.

During this time, Black is also alleged to have made a series of fraudulent representations to financial institutions, including a mortgage loan he applied for in January 2020.

As part of his loan application, Black forged payroll records and made misrepresentations regarding his income from working at Chick-fil-A.

Black also allegedly provided a fake social security number to banks and credit unions where he held accounts, into which the money from the Chick-fil-A fraud scheme would be deposited.

Black and Powell both face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and a maximum of 20 years in prison for wire fraud.

Black also faces a maximum of 30 years in prison for bank fraud, as well as a maximum of five years in prison for misuse of a social security number.

The U.S. Secret Service Cyber Fraud Task Force investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward J. Canter is prosecuting.

Chick-fil-A has been contacted for comment.

The chicken sandwich specialist is one of the largest fast food chains in the country, with more that 2,600 stores currently located in the U.S.

Chick-fil-A is also known for being a family-run company with strong conservative and Christian values, including not opening on Sundays.

It has faced backlash in the past over CEO Dan Cathy's opposition to gay marriage and donating to anti-LGBTQ+ charities.

A Chick-fil-A logo is seen on a take-out bag at one of its restaurants on July 28, 2012 in Bethesda, Maryland. Two former Alabama Chick-fil-A employees have been indicted on federal fraud and wire fraud charges. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images