ID theft at Koch Foods
bumfuzzled

Morristown, TN

#1 Dec 7, 2007
An identity-theft arrest of a Koch Foods employee Thursday is the sports equivalent of a slow, hanging curveball lobbed into the wheelhouse of Morristown City Council member Mel Tucker.
Tucker, the prime mover in a city council initiative designed to shift enforcement of some federal immigration laws to the Morris-town Police Department, appears intent on hitting this offering way back.
The city council member says he plans to follow this case through the legal system in an effort to gain insight into whether Morristown companies are knowingly hiring illegal aliens.
The end of Thursday’s story is that a Koch Foods employee who identified herself as Lucia Perez was arrested at the chicken-processing plant in the East Tennessee Progress Center and charged with felony identity theft.
Perez had a company-issued photo ID card under the name of Julie Wheeler, according to MPD Detective Sgt. Randall Noe. Perez maintains she is 27. The real Julie Wheeler is 42.
Perez, a Mexican national, allegedly gave Wheeler’s Social Se-curity number to Koch Foods human resources personnel when she was hired and assumed Wheeler’s identity, according to Noe.
The investigative trail that led to Perez’s arrest, however, began 1,100 miles away in the coastal hamlet of Swanville, Maine. That’s where Wheeler moved after she left Morristown in 2005.
Wheeler, who says she qualified for disability benefits following a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress syndrome, received a trou-bling telephone call from the Social Security Administration earlier this week.
The SSA demanded that she repay $14,000 in disability pay-ments. The reason that Wheeler owed the money is that Social Security records indicated that she had been working at Koch Foods in Morristown for the past two years.
Wheeler says that she telephoned Koch Foods Thursday and asked a resources worker to write a letter to a Social Security office in Maine stating that she was not an employee. Wheeler alleges that a Koch Foods employee refused.
Tim Steffin, Koch Foods human resources manager, was un-available for comment this morning. Noe says Koch Foods is cooperating with the investigation.
Wheeler says she strongly suspects that her former live-in boy-friend in Morristown, who Wheeler described as an illegal alien, stole her Social Security card during their relationship.
“The astonishing part of this is that (Perez) is obviously a His-panic female and she was able to say that she is Julie Wheeler,” Tucker said.
The city council member also says it’s hard for him to compre-hend how the company could not have realized that Perez was not 42 years old.
“I have been saying that corporations here have been employing illegal aliens at very low wages, which in my opinion, has been depressing the wages for workers in Hamblen County,” Tucker said this morning.
Tucker believes that this is the reason that the median family income actually dropped between 2000 to 2007.
“That has resulted, in my opinion, in an insufficient disposable income for people to buy anything other than necessities here,” Tucker added.“This resulted in an increase of the property tax of 40 percent this year.”
It remains unclear whether Perez presented Wheeler’s Social Security card or just gave Wheeler’s Social Security number when she was hired at Koch Foods. Noe says he expects to learn that some time today.
“It will be gained either through cooperation or the legal proc-ess,” Noe said this morning.
Noe asked that Perez be held without bond because he considers her a flight risk. Those convicted of identity theft face between two and four years in jail.
county resident

Morristown, TN

#2 Dec 7, 2007
Illegal aliens working at Koch Foods is the worst kept secret in Morristown. I can't figure out why the feds haven't done something about the problem before now.

Since: Sep 07

Morristown, TN

#3 Dec 7, 2007
There have been illegal workers at Koch Foods when it was Burnett Produce on West Morris Blvd. Tucker knew about them when he was police chief. Why didn't he do something then?
MWHSTrojans

Morristown, TN

#4 Dec 7, 2007
It's hard to do much about illegal aliens because they exist in such a legal gray area and are often caught between red tape in terms of who can do what about them.

Just the way it is.:\
LOL LOL

Morristown, TN

#5 Dec 7, 2007
this is pathetic!!! I hope koch foods gets in MAJOR trouble. Make an example out of them!!! It really is unfortunate that this lady in maine has to go through this. She's just one in a million b/c of all this illegal immigrant stuff. I guess we'll have to keep our social security cards hidden in our bras or underwear from now on!!!
MWHSTrojans

Morristown, TN

#6 Dec 7, 2007
This isn't as much an issue of illegal immigration as some people are making it.

Plenty of black, white, and most notably Asian people commit identity theft every year.
from morristown

Morristown, TN

#7 Dec 7, 2007
MWHSTrojans wrote:
This isn't as much an issue of illegal immigration as some people are making it.
Plenty of black, white, and most notably Asian people commit identity theft every year.
if you think that the majority of ID thefts for the purpose of working in Morristown involve mexicans, you are plain wrong.

don't generalize and try to divert the problem.
MWHSTrojans

Morristown, TN

#8 Dec 8, 2007
What is your platform based on? Statistics? Because you sure haven't shown any...

“It is what it is!”

Since: Mar 07

Off The Beaten Path

#9 Dec 9, 2007
The point is it is FINALLY came to a head in Morristown and our Country. Illegal immigration is costing taxpayers and it is TIME to make a stand either way. I am glad to see one of our City Council take lead on this. Even if it took a while to get it going. Everyone has their own take on the problem. But the bottom line should be take care of our LEGAL poor, hungry, eldery, and sick Americans before giving to any others.

I say to the "INS" raid Koch Foods, Rich's Food, US Fence, and other plants that hire Illegal Immigrants.
MWHSTrojans

Morristown, TN

#10 Dec 9, 2007
The stupid war is costing us a whole hell of a lot more money and it seems like a lot of people never complain about that.

Since: Oct 07

Vegas.

#11 Dec 9, 2007
trillion dollar war..240 something million per month...that costs a heck of a lot more than illegal immigration ever will

Since: Nov 07

Morristown, TN

#12 Dec 9, 2007
Morristown Resident wrote:
The point is it is FINALLY came to a head in Morristown and our Country. Illegal immigration is costing taxpayers and it is TIME to make a stand either way. I am glad to see one of our City Council take lead on this. Even if it took a while to get it going. Everyone has their own take on the problem. But the bottom line should be take care of our LEGAL poor, hungry, eldery, and sick Americans before giving to any others.
I say to the "INS" raid Koch Foods, Rich's Food, US Fence, and other plants that hire Illegal Immigrants.
I agree whole-heartedly.

http://www.scambusters.org/identity-theft.htm...

According to this article, about 7 million illegals are using stolen SSNs.

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2201915/ide...

At an average cost of $31k per incident according to the above article, one could hardly dismiss this as inconsequential.

7,000,000 x $31,000 = an @ssload of misery for the middle class/poor citizens of this country who have to swallow this bitter pill.

Anyone who minimalizes this epidemic is most likely as of yet untouched by its taint.
Julie Wheeler

Athol, MA

#14 Jul 19, 2008
Greetings from Maine to my beloved Tennesee ...

If more of the public knew exactly the intent of some peoples coming to America ...

My license has been suspended in California (where I have not been since I was in diapers) and in the North ...

It is going to cost me thousands of dollars to get this straightened out ... if I ever can.

I want to thank ALL of the people in the Morristown, TN area for being so wonderful to me while I was there almost 3 years, and to let you know that I am coming back this winter!

Love Jesus Always!

Julie Wheeler
Whites vs Browns

Morristown, TN

#15 Jul 19, 2008
What does anyone really care where immigrants work? If KOCH did not hire illegals to process the food, and do the labor no one wants to then the price of food would be higher, same goes for most labor extensive jobs that no one wants to do. I guess its easier to collect welfare than to work? LOL
In the Know

Knoxville, TN

#16 Jul 22, 2008
West Grad wrote:
trillion dollar war..240 something million per month...that costs a heck of a lot more than illegal immigration ever will
It is easy to see that you are clueless and stupid please dont tell me you vote!
In the Know

Knoxville, TN

#17 Jul 22, 2008
MWHSTrojans wrote:
The stupid war is costing us a whole hell of a lot more money and it seems like a lot of people never complain about that.
Do you ralize what freedom means? Have you ever thought about it? The war is not really a war, in a real war thousands die weekly and hundreds daily...get a life. Money is just an object, let America be pushed around and see how many innocent people start dieing. How many bombs kill people in Isreal and over seas? Do you want that on US soil? Think don't complain about idiot things.
In the Know

Knoxville, TN

#18 Jul 22, 2008
Easy to see that most Trojans are under schooled and not very educated. Maybe thats why they have such low test scores year after year.
lcost

United States

#19 Jul 25, 2008
Julie: Not sure if you saw but I was asked to give a testimony for ID theft. koch Foods got me too, as well as my husband. I went Thursday and had you in my thoughts. Just an FYI. Thanks,Lora

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