Calvert woman indicted for theft scheme

Giant Food was allegedly victimized by a Calvert County woman. Tiffany Pereira of Dunkirk has pleaded guilty to a theft scheme involving Giant food stores in Charles and Calvert counties.

A Calvert County grand jury handed down a three-count indictment this month against a woman charged with writing over $90,000 worth of bad checks at various Giant Food stores throughout the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area, court documents stated.

The accused, identified as Tiffany Ann Pereira, 37, of Dunkirk, was identified in court documents as a former employee of Giant.

Earlier this month, Pereira entered a guilty plea in Charles County Circuit Court for a single count of theft scheme between $1,500 and $25,000.

She is due to be sentenced in that case in November.

In Calvert County, Pereira was indicted for one count of theft scheme $25,000 to under $100,000 and two counts of issuing a bad check with non-sufficient funds between $1,500 and $25,000. All charges are felonies.

In documents on file in district court, Charles County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Elizabeth Clark stated that in July 2018 she received a call from Charles County Assistant State’s Attorney Andre Bruce about “an employee theft case.”

Clark stated she met with Giant Food asset protection coordinator Christena Lawton.

“She stated a former employee, identified as the defendant Tiffany A. Pereira had presented checks to various Giant Foods,” Clark stated. “The checks were later returned as having insufficient funds in the account.”

Lawton told Clark that five checks were presented to be cashed between April 30 and June 28, 2018, at a Giant in Waldorf, which according to court documents totaled $4,653.37.

The total loss for the company between the listed time period was $91,077.80.

According to Clark, she obtained copies of the five checks that were presented to be cashed at the Giant on U.S. 301 in Waldorf.

The account listed on the check was an Owings-based plumbing company issued by BB&T.

“The authorizing signature on the bottom of the check has a first name of Tiffany,” Clark stated, “but the rest is illegible.”

The officer also reviewed video of the five transactions captured on the store’s surveillance camera. Although the check presenter slightly altered her appearance during each transaction, a photo of Pereira obtained from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration led Clark to surmise that the accused was the passer of the bogus checks.

“Based on general characteristics, the person in the video surveillance appeared to be Pereira,” Clark stated in court documents. “I attempted to speak with Pereira on her telephone. Her phone was disconnected.”

In the Calvert County indictment, the circuit court identified May 22 and June 14 as the dates the bad checks were issued in that jurisdiction.

Pereira’s initial circuit court appearance in Calvert is tentatively set for Sept. 6 with a trial to be held sometime in January 2020.

Prince George’s County attorney Thomas C. Mooney represented Pereira in the Charles County case.

The state’s case against Pereira in Calvert County is being prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Benjamin G. Lerner.

Twitter: @CalRecMARTY