Orlando Dispatch

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Piercing Pagoda worker at West Oaks Mall stole identities to make $35K in fake sales, cops say

A former worker at the Piercing Pagoda kiosk at Ocoee’s West Oaks Mall was arrested Tuesday, accused of nearly $35,000 in fraudulent transactions, a police affidavit shows.

According to the affidavit, Jada Monet Wright, 24, used Florida driver’s license numbers she somehow obtained to open store credit card accounts without permission, which she used to make at least 31 unauthorized transactions between November and April.

The fraudulent sales — totaling $34,998.21 — represented 52 percent of Wright’s sales, a loss prevention manager for Piercing Pagoda’s parent company told Ocoee police.

The fraud was discovered when the people whose driver’s licenses Wright was using to open accounts — including victims in Orange, Osceola and Nassau counties — contacted authorities to file reports about the unauthorized credit activity.

Of the 31 suspicious transactions, 26 happened when Wright was working alone, police said.

The booth did not have surveillance cameras, nor did the mall, and a pretzel store nearby had only a live feed that does not record, the investigating officer wrote in his report.

In addition to obtaining jewelry through the transactions, Wright was paid extra commission for making sales through store credit accounts, according to the affidavit, something police described as a possible motive.

Wright remained in the Orange County Jail Wednesday with bail set at $140,000. She faces charges of identity theft, obtaining property by fraud and grand theft.

According to the affidavit, she was fired from Piercing Pagoda.


Read more at Orlando Sentinel

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