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2 charged, dozens suspected in scam at Augusta T-Mobile call center

Friday, Jan. 27, 2012 3:43 PM
Last updated Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012 2:58 AM
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Two people have been charged and as many as 60 might be involved in a scam involving fraudulent education reimbursements for employees of an Augusta call center.

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles said Friday that an investigation has discovered more than 60 current and previous employees took part in the scheme to cheat cellular provider T-Mobile.

Peebles said Shantae Evans, who was in charge of T-Mobile employee reimbursement for education at the Wheeler Road call center, falsified supervisor signatures from March to December 2011 and received more than $200,000 in reimbursement for college classes that were never taken.

The money was divided among other employees depending on the deal they arranged with Evans and co-worker Kenneth
Aaron Gorham, investigators said.

Authorities said Gorham, 24, helped Evans by recruiting 40 to 60 employees in the deception. Gorham would pass the employees’ personal information on to Evans to create the fraudulent documents, investigators said.

Evans and Gorham have been charged with five counts of theft by deception.

The Richmond County Sher­iff’s Office will forward the case to the district attorney’s office. Any additional charges will come from the district attorney in the form of an indictment, Peebles said.

“You can expect that there will be many, many more counts coming from them,” he said.

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David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/27/12 - 04:54 pm
1
0
House of cards

House of cards

augusta citizen
9698
Points
augusta citizen 01/27/12 - 04:58 pm
0
0
They need to prosecute

They need to prosecute everyone who took part in this scam.

rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 01/27/12 - 05:42 pm
1
0
It looks like these people

It looks like these people will get more of an education than they bargained for.

fatboyhog
2025
Points
fatboyhog 01/27/12 - 06:24 pm
1
0
The something for nothing

The something for nothing mentality, thanks to the government indoctrination. I didn't earn it but I want it, so I'll take it!

kiwiinamerica
950
Points
kiwiinamerica 01/27/12 - 06:48 pm
0
0
Ahhh.........initiative,
Unpublished

Ahhh.........initiative, ingenuity and teamwork!

What made America great!

What I find amazing about this is the number of people involved. It's not unusual to hear of cases of fraud involving an employee ripping off his or her employer but what's startling about this case is the scale of the deception; 60 people! I wonder how many people actually said "no" to the "recruiter" when he propositioned them about taking part in the scam? The people involved are probably not serious criminals nor the sort who would initiate a scam themselves but when easy money was waved under their noses they jumped on board.

Dishonesty is rampant through all levels of society in this country. In addition to the murderers and thugs we read about in these pages every day, there is a huge cohort of people with no moral compass who are happy just to drift whichever way the wind blows.

Sweet son
10753
Points
Sweet son 01/27/12 - 09:01 pm
0
0
It never seems to amaze me

It never seems to amaze me what people will do to steal!!! They are just dumb to think that it won't catch up with them. I left the word out after dumb that begins with an "A" to describe them!

allhans
24053
Points
allhans 01/27/12 - 11:43 pm
0
0
Will T-Mobile prosecute? I

Will T-Mobile prosecute? I sure hope they go all out on this.

Riverman1
87157
Points
Riverman1 01/27/12 - 11:45 pm
0
0
Here is a company trying to

Here is a company trying to help employees take courses and some abuse their kindness.

yellow cat
9
Points
yellow cat 01/27/12 - 11:48 pm
0
0
Looks like the tax payers

Looks like the tax payers will Pay for their education and room and board now.

Mac2406
22
Points
Mac2406 01/28/12 - 12:02 am
0
0
People are given a

People are given a responsiblity by their employer to be liable, and this is the thanks that's showed. You wonder why you see older employees back in the work force. Here's a hint, if its not yours, then it does not belong to you. "There's a system called "Audit"

dichotomy
34502
Points
dichotomy 01/28/12 - 12:16 am
1
0
If you can get a tax refund

If you can get a tax refund without paying in any taxes (UNearned Income Credit), why can't you get education reimbursement for classes you did not take. Our society teaches that it is okay to steal other peoples money.

reba530
65
Points
reba530 01/28/12 - 12:52 am
0
0
I hope they make them pay
Unpublished

I hope they make them pay every cent back plus some. And also hahaha I am glad you got caught. And to think that you thought you were smart enough to get away with this.

ImPOed
18
Points
ImPOed 01/28/12 - 03:29 am
0
0
It is the schools

It is the schools responsibiity to check their books to make sure the person is elgible to receive the monies. It shouldn't take a year or two. A red flag posted somewhere and someone dropped the ball. There were no checks an balances at T Mobile to see the possibility of theft. Therefore they have taken a loss and it's their fault. The theives are wrong for what they did but I think restitution of all funds would be the proper way to go. IT would cost us more money to jail them than it would by making them pay it back in full. If they don't make an effort to pay back the money....then put their sorry but in jail.

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 01/28/12 - 04:37 am
0
0
Thieves deserve what they

Thieves deserve what they get. They all deserve jail time and should NEVER be eligible for unemployment after stealing from their employer. Many consider theirself to be blessed to work for a company that not only pays you a fair salary but will give you money to enhance your education. To do this to such a good employer is pathetic. This is why good programs go away that could help others. Well, at least Augusta will have 50 or so job opening pretty soon.

carcraft
27171
Points
carcraft 01/28/12 - 06:59 am
1
0
OH wait- T-Mobile deserved

OH wait- T-Mobile deserved this, they are a rich corperation and OWS says that these folks have taken from the 99% so what if a few of the 99% get a little of the greed back from a corperation! Even Obama's big buddy Sores thinks this type of thing is good!

Riverman1
87157
Points
Riverman1 01/28/12 - 09:57 am
1
0
Augusta has attracted call

Augusta has attracted call centers to locate here because of our English speaking population that will work for low wages. Characteristics that make a successful call center. Maybe there's a negative side, however. Our lack of work ethics and honesty.

belle
309
Points
belle 01/28/12 - 10:44 am
0
0
ImPOed...the schools have
Unpublished

ImPOed...the schools have nothing to do with this. If I am reading the article correctly, the employees were supposed to show their supervisor proof of having taken the course, then Ms. Evans was supposed to process the claim and the check. However, she simply forged the supervisor's names to the forms and filed claims. I agree restitution is the best end result but all participants should be charged with theft by deception and Ms Evans should also receive charges of forgery. Ms. Evans and Mr. Gorham should have jail time. I also agree with asitisinaugusta that all participants should be banned from ever receiving unemployment benefits.

proud2bamerican
441
Points
proud2bamerican 01/28/12 - 11:38 am
0
0
You are so right 'yellow

You are so right 'yellow cat'...really wish we would enforce more "community service" and retribution. There are a LOT of benefits to both.

allhans
24053
Points
allhans 01/28/12 - 01:24 pm
0
0
T-Mobile approved this

T-Mobile approved this person?

Savemeimdtba
0
Points
Savemeimdtba 01/28/12 - 01:43 pm
0
0
Impoed - you misunderstand,

Impoed - you misunderstand, there was never a school really involved - she / they made it up. Tmobile has a plan to reimburse employees that take classes towards skills the company could utilize. These individuals falsified documents say they took courses when they didn't and the person in charge of the dapartment (shawntae) approved them. So, Tmobile lost $200,000 and 60+ employees they thought were taking classes to further their education. So yes, it is TMobiles money and yes such a LARGE crime deserves to be prosecuted.

Bubba
144
Points
Bubba 01/28/12 - 04:16 pm
0
0
Wow. I'm sure Evans and

Wow. I'm sure Evans and Gorham's MENSA Acceptance letters are waiting on them in the mailbox when they bond out. If any of these 40 to 60 geniuses had taken a class for which they were reimbursed they might have known they'd be caught. You just really can't fix stupid.

jbartley
582
Points
jbartley 01/28/12 - 05:10 pm
0
0
You would think people would

You would think people would be glad to have a good job and not steal from the company.. No work ethic left!!

jbartley
582
Points
jbartley 01/28/12 - 05:10 pm
0
0
You would think people would

You would think people would be glad to have a good job and not steal from the company.. No work ethic left!!

jbartley
582
Points
jbartley 01/28/12 - 05:10 pm
0
0
You would think people would

You would think people would be glad to have a good job and not steal from the company.. No work ethic left!!

my.voice
4927
Points
my.voice 01/29/12 - 09:35 pm
0
0
.....Can you hear me

.....Can you hear me now?........I'm in jail

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