An ex-general manager of a fast-food chain is currently in hot water on charges of inventing a “ghost employee” at the restaurant she oversaw.
She allegedly siphoned off nearly $20,000 in wages over the course of a year by fabricating shifts for this nonexistent employee.
According to the Manheim Township Police Department, Linda Johnson was charged with theft by deception on July 7, and a criminal case was filed the next week.
Johnson managed a Wendy’s restaurant in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and made up the fictitious worker, naming him William Bright, after a person she knows, authorities. She allegedly clocked the fake Bright in and out of the restaurant as if he were working.
Come payday, Johnson would take the fake Bright’s check and pocket it, according to a warrant issued for the 35-year-old’s arrest.
Police say the fake employee was logged in manually for 128 shifts from June 28, 2021, to May 1, 2022. Law enforcement said Johnson made $19,898 by cashing the ghost worker’s paychecks. They report Johnson told them she would get his checks and deposit them into her Cash App account.
Johnson was found out when Wendy’s found the “discrepancy” during an audit. A police spokesperson said that was when the franchise called authorities.
According to the police, three additional managers from the same location stated that they had never worked with a person named Bright. One of them admitted to encountering Bright but clarified that they had never been on a shift together, Lancaster Online reported.
Police say Johnson confessed that she fabricated Bright, the worker’s existence, and falsely attributed shifts to him that he never actually worked. She said she did it because she spent the extra money on her children.
Johnson’s whereabouts are still unknown to police, according to the latest reports.