Wendy’s Manager Invented Fake Employee And Kept $20,000 Wages

Wendy’s Manager Invented Fake Employee And Kept $20,000 Wages iStock | Manheim Township Police Department

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill