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Press Release

Four indicted in Home Depot ticket switching scam

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia

ATLANTA - Charles Blackman, a/k/a Ralph Jones, Stephanie Price, a/k/a Rhonda Johnson, Joseph Payne, and Quinton Williams have been arraigned on federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Blackman, Price, Payne and Williams were indicted by a federal grand jury on March 20, 2018.

“Blackman and his accomplices allegedly conspired to ‘ticket switch’ and defraud Home Depot of merchandise valued in excess of $300,000,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “Honest, hardworking citizens are the ones who ultimately pay the price for thieves who seek to steal from businesses.”

“This case illustrates not just the significance of an aggressive approach to combat this type of fraud, but it also illustrates the importance of partnerships,” said Kenneth Cronin, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office. “We will continue to work closely with prosecutors to ensure offenders like Blackman and his conspirators are put behind bars.”

According to U.S Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: Blackman and his associates allegedly switched or altered the prices of merchandise by changing the Universal Product Code (UPC), so the items could be purchased at a lower price and then returned for the actual, higher retail price.  They used false information and fake identifications to further their fraud.  Their alleged scheme was to cheat Home Depot out of the hundreds of thousands of dollars to be made on the price difference after returning the merchandise.

Charles  Blackman, a/k/a Ralph Jones, 58; Stephanie  Price, a/k/a Rhonda Johnson, 51; Joseph Payne, 54; and Quinton Williams, 52, all of Atlanta, Georgia, were arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Justin S. Anand.  Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges, and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service. The Woodstock Police Department and Cherokee County District Attorney’s Offices contributed to this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassandra J. Schansman is prosecuting the case.

For further information, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated April 2, 2018

Financial Fraud