From The Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — A Center Point man and a Moody man was sentenced to prison on Thursday, January 20, for conspiracy to defraud Chick-fil-A.
According to the United States Department of Justice, Larry James Black, Jr., 37, of Center Point, was sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud in September 2021. Additionally, Joshua Daniel Powell, 40, of Moody, was sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in June 2021.
“During the time period charged in the indictment, Black and Powell were both directors at the Chick-fil-A location in the Five Points South neighborhood of Birmingham,” Public Affairs Officer Stacy Crane said.
According to the plea agreement, between April 2018 and January 2018, Black and Powell devised and implemented a scheme to divert $492,000 in customer payments away from Chick-fil-A Five Points and direct them instead to bank accounts under their control. Black and Powell used these accounts to receive customer credit card payments intended for Chick-fil-A Five Points. Many of these payments were for catering orders from large customers.
“To effectuate the scheme, Black and Powell used fraudulent email and digital payment accounts that imitated the look of official Chick-fil-A accounts,” Crane said. “In addition to these fraudulent “Chick-fil-A” accounts, Black and Powell also utilized a personal email account belonging to Powell to intercept virtual credit card payments that were made on behalf of an additional customer.”
In addition to conspiring to defraud Chick-fil-A Five Points, Black acknowledged in his plea agreement that he provided a false social security number to various financial institutions and executed a scheme to defraud his mortgage lender. In January 2020, Black applied for a mortgage loan. In connection with his loan application, Black forged payroll records and made misrepresentations regarding 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.
The story will be updated when more information is available.