A former office manager of a well-known Central Pennsylvania catering company has been charged with embezzling at least $120,000 from the business over a six-year period.
Julie Anne West, 51, of 49 Main St. in McSherrystown, worked for The Altland House Hospitality Group, 1 Center Square in Abbottstown, as its accounting clerk/office manager for about two decades, according to charging documents filed by state police in Gettysburg.
She is accused of stealing from her employer between Jan. 1, 2007, and Jan. 1, 2013.
Financial discrepancies at the business came to light in December 2012, after West's duties changed and a new employee took over her old accounts-payable duties, according to her arrest affidavit.
Forensic audit: A forensic audit by a certified public accountant determined that, at "the very minimum," $121,379 was taken during the six-year period, police said.
West doctored daily cash sheets to hide the fact she was taking cash, according to the affidavit.
She also reported cash payouts that didn't exist so she could pocket the cash, police allege.
West also took cash from bank deposits before those deposits reached the bank, the affidavit states.
'Deeply hurt': Attorney Steve Rice, who is representing West, said his client turned herself in, is "deeply hurt" by the accusations and intends to go to trial.
"The idea that she's been looting The Altland House for years, right underneath their noses, to the tune of over $120,00, without so much as a peep from anybody...? The whole thing is preposterous on his face. And deeply offensive," Rice wrote in an email. "This, coming from a family who she treated like family, and they her, for years. She's going to let the jury know the truth ... and let them decide if this makes sense or not."
'Very unfortunate': Mike Haugh, who owns The Altland House with his sons, described the situation as "very unfortunate for everyone concerned."
The third-generation business was started by Haugh's mother and now has nine locations in Adams, York, Lancaster and Cumberland counties, he said, including Flats Original Flatbread Cafe in downtown York.
West remains free on $25,000 unsecured bail, charged with the third-degree felony of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received. Unsecured bail means West did not have to put up any money to remain free, but could forfeit that amount if she fails to appear for future court proceedings.
A preliminary hearing before District Judge Tony Little is set for Wednesday morning, according to court records.
-- Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com.