Fraud is never on the menu.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Alabama announced that a federal grand jury issued a 16-count indictment charging Larry James Black, Jr. and Joshua Daniel Powell with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. Black is also accused of bank fraud and misuse of a social security number.
In a joint statement, U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Patrick M. Davis said the men invented and executed a scheme to divert hundreds of thousands of dollars in customer payments between April 2018 and January 2020 from the Chick-fil-A in Birmingham’s Five Points neighborhood. Black, 37, was the restaurant’s director of hospitality, while Powell, 40, was a manager.
To carry out the heist, the now-former employees are accused of using fraudulent email and digital payment accounts to trick customers into sending payments for catering orders and other sales into bank accounts they controlled. The indictment listed over $30,000 in transfers that prosecutors called illegal, the Associated Press reports.
According to the Department of Justice, if convicted, the men may face up to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud. Black also faces a maximum of 30 years in prison for bank fraud, and a maximum of five years in prison for misusing a social security number.
Chick-fil-A declined to comment on the arrests. Court records do not list defense attorneys for either man.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.