The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 21, 2013

Bob Evans employee may face fraud charges

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — A Bob Evans employee could be facing fraud charges after allegedly engaging in a scheme to defraud customers through unauthorized use of their credit cards.

The restaurant’s general manager contacted Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department deputies to report the employee, who had allegedly stolen from both the business and numerous customers via unauthorized credit card transactions. The suspect is employed as a cashier and routinely handles customer payments, according to reports.

The employee had been suspected of theft because the cash register was typically short at the end of the nights she worked, but not on her days off, according to reports. Bob Evans was conducting an internal investigation when information regarding additional criminal actions surfaced.

The general manager received a complaint from a customer who alleged her Visa credit card was charged three separate times for a single dinner on May 17. The incident was investigated and it was found the employee had charged the credit card in the amounts of $52.45, $25.97 and $30.62, according to reports.

The general manager then reviewed additional credit card logs and found two more customers had been charged multiple times as well, according to reports.

Upon examination of the receipts, deputies noticed a pattern or scheme had developed. The first legitimate charge to the customer’s credit card was done by a traditional swipe through the credit card reader and the receipt was presented to the customer who then signed it. Each of the subsequent charges were then manually keyed in without the presence of the credit card, according to reports.

The signatures on the receipts of the subsequent charges were all forged with a similar illegible scribble, reports show.

Bob Evans refunded the three known customers the employee had allegedly stolen from. The restaurant suffered a loss of about $128. Additional unreported thefts may exist but will remain unknown unless they are reported, according to reports.

Deputies were unable to make contact with the employee as she was reportedly admitted to the hospital and did not show up for her scheduled shift at work, according to reports.

A warrant has been issued for her arrest. The employee could face charges of telecommunications fraud, identity fraud and forgery, according to reports.

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