SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - A woman was convicted of stealing someone's identity on social media and using it to get a six-figure salary. She faces 10 years in prison.
A St. Tammany Parish jury found Cindy T. White, 41, of Slidell, guilty Wednesday of theft of identity over $1,000.
Prosecutors said credentials that White had listed on her resume, including a bachelor's degree from Tulane University and a master's from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. However, they were not her true credentials.
White's crime began to unravel in April 2016, when an employee of Diversified Foods and Seasonings contacted the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office about White, who had provided a fraudulent resume, social security number, and driver's license number to get an executive level job, the St. Tammany Parish District Attorney's Office said.
Diversified Foods and Seasonings is headquartered in Covington with manufacturing facilities in Madisonville and two other states.
White had been hired in September 2015 as a human resources manager at the company's Covington office at $95,000 per year. Five months later, she was promoted to senior human resources director at $105,000.
Company officials became suspicious, though, when White had trouble performing duties within the educational level and experience listed on her resume, and when she began delegating many tasks assigned to her.
Upon closer inspection of her personnel file, authorities found discrepancies. Investigators ultimately determined that White did not possess the educational background on her resume and that she had copied it directly from the Linked In account of someone with a similar name. She also stole the woman's social security number and driver's license number through an unspecified site online.
When investigators tracked White's real social security number, they learned she had been arrested in New Orleans in February 1997 for theft, forgery, and malfeasance in office.
At the time, White worked for the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office and was accused of assuming a co-worker's identity and emptying the victim's bank account, before being identified by surveillance photos.
White pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery on September 27, 1997, and was placed on probation.
But court records indicate her probation was terminated in 1999 because the court received information that she was deceased. White also had pleaded guilty in Jefferson Parish to attempted theft of goods on December 4, 1998.
Between October 9, 2015, and May 6, 2016, White fraudulently collected $56,209 in salary from Diversified Foods.
White admitted in a statement to investigators that she fraudulently used the victim's educational experience and Social Security number to get the job. But her defense attorney argued during the trial that she actually earned the salary.
Jurors deliberated just 15 minutes before returning the guilty verdict.