The owner of two furniture stores in Portland and White House has been arrested after police say he stole the identity of some of his former customers and applied for credit in their names.
Brian Lewis, 40 of Portland, was indicted by a Sumner County Grand Jury on Tuesday on 13 counts of identity theft, eight counts of forgery and one count of theft over $10,000.
In February, special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and officers with the Portland Police Department began investigating Lewis, who owns Woodland Furniture stores in Portland and White House, following a request from Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley.
“The Portland Police Department had gotten some complaints about Woodland Furniture,” Whitley said. “The complaints were that people were saying that they were getting bills from GE Capital, a credit card company, for furniture that they had not purchased.”
During the investigation, authorities developed information that Lewis had used personal information from former customers’ prior credit applications to open new accounts, according to a TBI release. From September 2013 to January 2014, Lewis is alleged to have used customers’ data to apply for credit without their permission and received payments for false furniture sales.
“There were eight customers, and some of them were hit more than once,” Whitley said. “(Lewis) was coming up with fraudulent invoices and purchases for these various card holders when they had not bought any furniture and he was getting the money from GE Capital.”
Lewis turned himself over to police on Tuesday and was booked into the Sumner County Jail. He was later released on $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Sumner County Criminal Court on Oct. 30.