Georgia woman sentenced in extensive scheme that defrauded Walmart in 24 states
CHARLOTTE — A five-year prison sentence is the punishment for a Georgia woman who stole over $850,000 from more than 300 Walmart stores across the country, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.
Cyianna Ashley Woods, 38, of Atlanta, was sentenced earlier this week on charges of wire fraud and money laundering, court documents said. Woods will also be required to pay $923,915 in restitution.
Woods and her partner committed fraud at Walmart locations across 24 states including stores in Iredell, Catawba, Mecklenburg, Gaston, Anson and Buncombe counties, according to court documents.
Andre Marquese White, 35, of Norcross, Georgia, was previously sentenced to 46 months in prison for his role in the crime.
“This criminal duo engaged in an extensive scheme that defrauded Walmart of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Dena J. King, U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. “This type of financial crime impacts not only affected retailers, but also consumers in the form of higher prices for goods and services.”
From 2013 to 2019, Woods and White made counterfeit bank checks that appeared to be legitimate, court documents said.
They then cashed the checks at a variety of Walmart stores and used the money to purchase more than $850,000 in prepaid debit cards, gift cards, Walmart shopping cards and other items.
Both Woods and White previously pleaded guilty to the charges of wire fraud and money laundering, officials said.
“This individual’s long-running and widespread scheme has been thwarted and now she will be held accountable for her crimes,” said Ronnie Martinez, the Homeland Security Investigations special agent in charge of the case. “Unlawful activity like this hurts businesses and results in higher costs to consumers. This case should serve as a warning to others thinking they can get away with schemes like this that HSI and our law enforcement and private sector partners are watching.”
WSOCTV.com News Staff