A former Chick-fil-A manager and hospitality director pled guilty to fraud charges.
The two men intercepted payments from customers into their own bank accounts.
Charges for wire fraud carry up to 20 years in prison, with another 30 years for bank fraud.
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A former Chick-fil-A manager pled guilty to charges of defrauding the company and customers of nearly $500,000, according to a release from the US Department of Justice.
Larry James Black Jr., a former hospitality director at an Alabama Chick-fil-A, pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, the release said. His codefendant, former manager Joshua Daniel Powell, of the same Chick-fil-A restaurant, previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The crimes were investigated by US Secret Service Cyber Fraud Task Force and prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Edward J. Canter.
Chick-fil-A declined to comment on the cases.
The fraud charges were part of a scheme to move $492,000 in customer payments to Powell and Black's own bank accounts, where they were paid out from customer credit cards, including large catering orders, according to the US attorney's office. The DOJ says the defendants set up fraudulent email and payment accounts designed to look like official Chick-fil-A accounts.
Black also used the money to pay for luxury vehicles and vacations, prosecutors said. He admitted to using a fake social security number and applying for a mortgage using falsified payroll and income reports, which were used to obtain a mortgage for $159,948, he said in the plea agreement.
Wire fraud, which both men are charged with, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Bank fraud, which only applies to Black, could add up to another 30 years onto his sentence. Powell is set to be sentenced in October, and Black's sentencing is set for January.
Chick-fil-A is popular with fast-food customers and has some of the highest sales per store in the industry. The average Chick-fil-A store does over $4.5 million in annual sales, compared to the average McDonald's store with $2.9 million.
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