Document Shredding Company Employee Eyed in ID Theft Ring
Posted: NBCDFW Special Report by Scott Gordon / Friday, Mar 28, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, February 18, 2015
A former Fort Worth employee of a document shredding company who was accused of sharing bank records with thieves has pleaded guilty to fraud charges.
Patrick Doucet, 44, drove a truck for Cintas Document Management, an Ohio company that shreds documents for businesses, including banks and insurance companies.
On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to fraudulent possession of identification, a second-degree felony.
He faces up to a $10,000 fine and 20 years in prison.
His sentencing is set for May 8.
Police searched his home in North Fort Worth last year.
According to the search warrant, the investigation started in Georgia when a woman was arrested and accused of writing fake checks in the name of a Bedford woman.
Investigators said the suspect implicated Doucet. It was unclear how the two knew each other.
Police said Doucet did not shred documents that were supposed to be destroyed and shared them with the Georgia woman and others.
Original story posted Friday, Mar 28, 2014:
A Fort Worth man who worked for a document shredding company did not destroy bank records and instead shared them with thieves, according to court documents.
The number of potential victims is in the thousands and the total loss may be in the millions of dollars, a law enforcement source told NBC DFW.
Patrick Doucet, 43, of Fort Worth, drove a truck for Cintas Document Management, police said. The Ohio-based company promotes its off-site shredding business as safe and secure.
Major businesses, including an insurance company, contracted with Cintas to destroy their customers' records.
The police investigation is outlined in a search warrant for Doucet's North Fort Worth home. In a search of the house last week, police seized computers, cell phones and other items after investigators said they found a victim's check in Doucet's trash.
Doucet has not been arrested but the investigation is still very active, the source said.
According to the search warrant, the investigation started in Henry County, Georgia, in January.
Police there arrested Shanika Jackson, 37, of Atlanta, and charged her with writing fake checks in the name of a Bedford woman.
Investigators said she implicated Doucet and told them he worked for a document shredding company.
It is unclear how the two may know each other.
Fort Worth detectives said they confirmed Doucet was a truck driver for Cintas and that the thefts involved Cintas' customers on his route.
Court documents label this a multi-state theft ring.
Police said a man near Seattle was robbed of his identity after he wrote a check to Allstate Insurance Company and mailed it to Dallas.
Detectives said they found the man’s torn-up check in a search of the trash in front of Doucet’s house and the victim later confirmed someone had recently tried to write fraudulent checks on his account.
Investigators also said they confirmed Allstate was one of the businesses on Doucet's route.
In a statement, Allstate said, "We take our customer's privacy very serious and are looking into the report."
Allstate is the only Cintas client mentioned in the search warrant and it is not clear what other businesses and their customers may have been victimized.
Michelle Goret, Cintas’ director of corporate communications, did not respond to a phone message or emails late Friday.
Mike Hansen, Cintas’ vice president and treasurer, also did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Doucet did not answer his door Friday afternoon and could not be reached.