It goes without saying that you’re not going to be living a life of luxury when working at a fast food joint, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to steal. However, not everyone agrees. In fact, Linda Johnson, a manager at a Pennsylvania Wendy’s restaurant wanted more money, so she invented an entire employee and pocketed $20,000 in wages.
Here’s the full story.
- Linda Johnson thought the plan was foolproof. Working as a manager at Wendy’s meant she was in charge at her restaurant, so she was able to get away with such an underhanded plan… or so she thought. While it was undoubtedly a very unique approach to committing fraud, she wasn’t slick enough to avoid detection forever.
- The “ghost employee” was named William Bright. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he always worked the same shifts as Johnson, and she’d clock him in and out at the Lancaster outlet and then take the money the nonexistent worker earned for herself, the Manheim Township Police Department said.
- She got away with this for nearly a year. During that time, Linda Johnson had Bright log 128 shifts, equaling $19,898, between June 2021 and May 2022. It’s unclear how she got caught, but other employees later told police that they never worked with anyone by the name of William Bright.
- Johnson admitted everything. She told police in April 2023 that she created Bright as an employee and made up shifts that were never worked. She then took the paychecks and put them in her Cash App account. How is that even possible?! The restaurant insurer had to pay out about $16,000 because of her lies, Lancaster Online revealed.
- Crime never pays, people! On July 7, Linda Johnson was charged with one count of theft by deception. A criminal case was filed a week later, but by that point, Johnson had gone on the run. Per the Manheim Township Police Department’s July 20 statement, a public appeal has been put out looking for her.
- Not everyone thought what she did was so wrong. In fact, many people on social media seem to think Linda Johnson was sticking it to the man by taking money from Wendy’s. After all, it is a huge corporation worth millions of dollars and it pays its workers peanuts. Others remarked that this is nothing new and that it actually happens a lot. Not sure about that! Nothing makes higher-ups do their due diligence than the possibility of losing money.
- Others felt bad that Johnson was in such a position that she felt like she had to steal. “The thing is you have to pretty much sell your soul to corporate and work 60+ hours a week. I can see why someone would want to do this since it really does feel like you’re doing the job of multiple people,” one commenter wrote on Reddit.
While this is wrong, I remember the 2 years after my mother's manager left her store and she had to, as the Assistant Manager, do BOTH JOBS, and only for the Assistants pay and bonus. Companies are just as capable of employees at taking advantage of the other and picking pockets.
— Lets_Be_Frank_in _PA (@frank_in_penn) July 28, 2023
All that work for just 20k?
— Klondike (@spbaker1) July 28, 2023
— 🧜🏾♀️❤️TaMmiLiCiOuS❤️🧜🏾♀️ (@chocolatedrop_5) July 29, 2023