Cindy T. White was half a year into her new job at Diversified Foods and Seasonings when company officials started getting suspicious.
On her resume, the 41-year-old Slidell, La., woman had listed a bachelor’s degree from Tulane and a master’s from Hebrew University, but still "had trouble" performing her duties and had begun delegating many of her assignments to others, according to St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Warren Montgomery.
When they looked closer, other employees realized this was more than a case of resume padding. The woman sitting in the office was not who she said she was.
On April 19, a jury found White guilty of theft of identity over $1,000 for allegedly stealing the identity of a woman she looked up on the social networking site LinkedIn. The jury took only 15 minutes to convict her, according to the district attorney's office.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
White was hired at the company's Covington, Louisiana, location in September 2015 as a human resources manager with a salary of $95,000, the DA's office wrote. She was then promoted to senior human resources director with a new salary of $105,000 within months.
Officials say White lifted details about her work and educational background from the profile of a woman with a similar name, then got that woman's driver's license and Social Security numbers from a different, unspecified site.
Company officials contacted the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, where investigators were able to track down her real Social Security number, according to The New Orleans Advocate. Investigators discovered that White had been arrested nearly two decades ago after allegedly stealing the identity of a co-worker and draining his bank account., the paper reported.
She pleaded guilty and was put on probation — but two years later, she was reported dead, the DA's office wrote.
In an opening statement, the prosecuting attorney listed off the accomplishments on White's resume, then pointed at White and declared: "That is not this person. This person stole the victim’s hard work and used it to get a six-figure salary and benefits to boot," according to a news release from the DA's office.
Prosecutors argued that between Oct. 9, 2015, and May 6, 2016, White had stolen a total of $56,209 while employed at Diversified Foods and Seasonings, and had admitted to using a stolen identity to get the job, according to the Times-Picayune. Her defense argued that she had done the work and so had earned the salary, WBIR reported.
The jury didn't buy it.
White faces a prison term of up to 10 years and was scheduled to be sentenced on April 24. But a motion by the defense for a new trial, since dismissed, has pushed the sentencing date to May 29, the Times-Picayune reported.