COVINGTON, La. – A fired sheriff’s office employee, who reportedly died in 1999, was actually using another woman’s identity to earn a six-figure salary before she was caught, prosecutors say.
District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s office reports a St. Tammany Parish jury deliberated for 15 minutes before finding 41-year-old Cindy T. White guilty of charges of identity theft over $1,000 Wednesday.
Prosecutors say White had listed on her resume that she obtained a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and a master’s degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Investigators say White was hired as a human resources manager at a Diversified Foods & Seasonings' Covington office with a $95,000 salary in Sept. 2015. She was promoted five months later to senior human resources director with a $105,000 salary.
“This person stole the victim’s hard work and used it to get a six-figure salary and benefits to boot,” Assistant District Attorney Casey Dieck said.
Company officials became suspicious after she had trouble performing duties and delegating tasks given to her, prosecutors say. Authorities later discovered that White had copied her resume from a LinkedIn account of someone with a similar name.
“She also had obtained the woman’s Social Security number and driver’s license number through an unspecified site online,” the district attorney’s office said.
Using White’s real social security number, investigators learned that she was a former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office employee who was fired in Feb. 1997 for theft, forgery and malfeasance in office. White was accused of assuming a co-worker’s identity, emptying their bank account before being identified in security photos.
White pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery in Sept. 1997 and was placed on probation. The probation was terminated in 1999 because the court received information that she had died.
White had also pleaded guilty to attempted theft of goods in Jefferson Parish in Dec. 1998.
Prosecutors say White collected $56,209 in salary between Oct. 9 2015 and May 6, 2016. She told investigators that she fraudulently used another woman’s social security number and experience to get the job. White’s defense attorney argued that she had earned the salary.
White faces up to 10 years in prison when she is sentenced on April 24.