On Tuesday, August 6, 2013, Tina Lewis, a former Department of Community Health (DCH) temporary employee, pleaded guilty to two counts of Racketeering (O.C.G.A. § 16-14-4(a)) and one count of Theft by Taking (O.C.G.A. §16-8-2) for an extensive scheme involving identity fraud and theft. Judge David Cannon sentenced her to seven years in prison, followed by 28 years on probation and $90,000 in restitution
Between 2008 and 2012, utilizing numerous alterations of her name and identifying information, Lewis worked for various “temp agencies” and was placed for employment in different businesses in which she was responsible for or had access to money.
As a temporary DCH employee between 2010 and 2012, Lewis was in charge of employee expense reimbursements. While applying for a permanent position with DCH in 2012, Lewis’ application contained discrepancies that resulted in an internal investigation. The investigation revealed that Lewis fabricated court documents, school credentials, personal identity data and other information during the hiring process in order to conceal her past identities, including felony convictions in Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia. The investigation also determined that she stole nearly $40,000 from DCH during the time she was a temporary employee.
As a result of further investigation, Lewis was charged with stealing approximately $48,000 from her previous employer, Gemini Trucking, from 2008 to 2009. Additionally, she was charged with stealing from her employer, Universal Alloy, with which she started working after being terminated from her position at DCH.
The indictment alleged that Lewis would intercept checks written to her employer or to other persons and deposit them into her own checking account. At DCH, she would purportedly cause travel reimbursement checks or wire transfers to DCH employees to be issued, but would have the checks and wire transfers deposited into her own checking accounts.
Senior Assistant Attorney General David McLaughlin prosecuted the case on behalf of the State of Georgia. The case was investigated by Special Agent Heather Strickland of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Investigator Karl Reimers of DCH.