Former Home Depot Employees Sentenced to Prison for Identity Theft in Credit Card Fraud Scheme
ATLANTA – Paulette Shorter and Lakisha Grimes have been sentenced to federal prison for stealing personal identifying information from fellow employees of The Home Depot, Inc. in order to submit fraudulent applications for credit cards.
“The defendants stole the very personal information they were entrusted to protect,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “They applied for fraudulent credit cards with personal identifying information taken from The Home Depot’s human resources database. Grimes and Shorter violated the trust of their employer and their fellow employees, and they did so to enrich themselves at the expenses of others.”
“The U.S. Secret Service and our law enforcement partners work tirelessly to protect consumers against identity theft fraud,” said Reginald G. Moore, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office. “These sentences should serve as a reminder that criminals will not get away with maliciously using their entrusted positions for personal gain.”
According to United States Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: Paulette Shorter and Lakisha Grimes worked as Human Resources employees in the Atlanta, Georgia headquarters of the Home Depot, Inc., where they had access to employee databases containing employee names, Social Security numbers, and birth dates. The defendants used personal identifying information stolen from the Home Depot employee database and other sources to apply online for Capital One credit cards in the names of different individuals, including Home Depot employees and job applicants. Home Depot Corporate Security discovered the fraudulent scheme based on a tip from a Home Depot employee and reported the identity theft to federal investigators.
In total, thirty-two fraudulent Capital One credit card applications were submitted as part of the scheme using stolen personal identifying information, and two of the approved credit cards were mailed to Shorter’s and Grimes’s residences. Two of Shorter’s relatives used a credit card issued in the fraudulent scheme to purchase merchandise at several outlet stores.
Paulette Shorter, 32, of Orlando, Florida was sentenced on November 4, 2015, by United States District Court Judge Steve C. Jones to two years and one day in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and she was ordered to pay $166.90 in restitution to Capital One. Shorter was convicted on this charge on July 30, 2015, after she pleaded guilty.
Lakisha Grimes, 38, of Conyers, Georgia was sentenced on January 16, 2015, by United States District Court Judge Steve C. Jones to two years in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release. Shorter was convicted on this charge on November 3, 2014, after she pleaded guilty.
This case is being investigated by the United States Secret Service.
Assistant United States Attorney Nathan P. Kitchens is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.