Employees at Florida Lowe’s hacked payroll, stole nearly $12,000 from other workers, investigators say

Two Lowe’s employees hacked payroll, stole nearly $12,000 from other workers, investigators say

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Two employees at a Florida Lowe’s hacked the store’s payroll and stole nearly $12,000 from other associates, investigators said.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Solomon Smith, 19, and Garrett Sivley, 18, changed direct deposit information to redirect $11,795 from Lowe’s payroll accounts at three stores into deposits at fraudulent bank accounts, and then transferred the money to cash apps, WFLA reported.

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“We take this issue very seriously, and we immediately notified law enforcement and have continued to work closely with them on this ongoing investigation,” Maureen Wallace, a spokeswoman with Lowe’s, said in a statement. “We have also provided resources and support to associates affected.”

Customer information was not exposed to the pair.

Investigators confronted Smith at the store. They had a search warrant for his cellphone and discovered evidence linking him to 20 car burglaries from earlier this year, WFLA reported. Smith used personal identification taken during the car burglaries to set up fake bank accounts, phony email addresses and address change information. Investigators said Smith victimized 223 people through his schemes.

“We would have never known that they committed all of these burglaries because we have photographs where he would garb up and hide himself to commit burglaries,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Smith and Sivley were fired. They were also arrested on multiple charges including grand theft, computer fraud and gross fraud, according to arrest records.

Smith was already out on bond related to five other open criminal cases, WFLA reported. He has previously been charged with six felonies and five misdemeanors.