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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Jul. 25, 2019 1 month ago

Police: Former Piercing Pagoda worker made $35K in fraudulent sales

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Jada Monet Wright worked at the Piercing Pagoda in the West Oaks Mall, and is accused of stealing identities to open credit card accounts with the jewelry retailer.
by: Eric Gutierrez Staff Writer

A former employee of the Piercing Pagoda kiosk in the West Oaks Mall is being accused of making thousands of dollars in fraudulent transactions.

Police arrested 24-year-old Jada Monet Wright on Tuesday, July 23, on charges of grand theft, obtaining property by fraud and fraudulent use of personal identification of 20 or more persons. She’s accused of making a 31 fraudulent transactions totaling $34,998.21. That total represents 52% of Wright’s sales, according to Wright’s arrest warrant. 

Wright allegedly used driver’s license numbers to open store credit cards without permission. A loss prevention manager with Signet Jewelers — the parent company of Piercing Pagoda — told an investigator with the Ocoee Police Department that Wright was fired for making fraudulent credit card accounts. The loss prevention manager then provided the investigator with a list of 21 different driver’s license numbers that were used in the fraudulent transactions. Additionally, the manager told the investigator that the company pushes the credit card accounts and paid extra commission for them, which may have been a motive for the crimes, the warrant says.

It is not known at this time how Wright obtained the driver’s license numbers she allegedly used to open the fraudulent credit card accounts, The transactions occurred between November and April. Police were made aware of the fraud after the victims whose driver’s license numbers Wright allegedly used to open the accounts notified authorities about unauthorized credit card activities. Some of the victims who reported the fraudulent activity were from Orange County, Osceola County and Nassau County, according to the warrant.

Wright was working alone at the Piercing Pagoda kiosk for 26 out of the 31 unauthorized transactions she’s accused of making. The kiosk does not have video surveillance, and neither does the West Oaks Mall. A pretzel shop across from the Piercing Pagoda did have a live video feed, but it did not record, the warrant says.

Eric Gutierrez is a staff writer with the West Orange Times & Observer and the West Orange Observer. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2015 with a double major in Journalism and Political Science. Contact Eric at...

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