Woman charged in Lunch Box theft
Cookie sale led to investigation
August 11, 2014
A $60 cookie sale led to charges alleging a Havre restaurant manager embezzled more than $60,000, with the owners of the Lunch Box saying it appears the manager stole much more than that.
Jean A. Grandberg, age not available, is charged with embezzlement and is scheduled to make her first court appearance Sept. 2.
According to a court document, Julie Davison, who owns the Lunch Box with her husband, John, contacted Havre police Sept. 14, 2011, to report suspicions Grandberg had stolen money from the restaurant.
Grandberg had managed the restaurant for 2½ years at that point.
Julie Davison told a Havre officer that the discovery started when a customer purchased $60 worth of cookies for a catering job, and due to some confusion about whether the cookies already had been paid for, the employee making the sale gave the money to Grandberg. The money was never entered into the day’s sales, the document says.
After John Davison confronted Grandberg about the sale, she said she must have forgotten to enter the amount, the document says.
When the Davisons reviewed the records, they saw that the total cash intake had been scratched out and $60 added, but the $60 was not deposited into the restaurant’s bank account, the document says.
Julie Davison said she and her husband had gone over the Lunch Box records, and found numerous transactions indicating someone rang up purchases incorrectly, voided out credit card transactions on the till tape and rang up other transactions that apparently meant someone was taking money out of the till while making it appear the till tape balanced the amount of cash in the register.
She said other examples showed the amount being deposited in the bank account was less than the restaurant’s actual income, for example sales totalling $1,000 but the deposit totalling $900.
Davison said Grandberg was the only person who handled the daily deposit as well as the store daily intake forms. The document says Davison said she and her husband had never suspected Grandberg until the cookie money was brought to their attention.
The Davisons said an audit of the restaurant’s financial records showed a total of $104,430.06 missing from January 2009 to September 2011.
A financial analyst with the state Division of Criminal Investigation found that Grandberg had used multiple methods to disguise the theft of cash, the document says, and was able to confirm $61,770.05 in shorted transactions, the document says.
That was through $45,428.50 in shortages of daily intake, cash sales and deposits, $9,619.55 in gift certificates or latte cards not being rung up and $6,722 in charge account sales not rung up properly.
The analyst also noted that Grandberg, as manager, handled the cash register most frequently, handled the closing of the till, bookkeeping and daily bank deposits, and also would have seen if the register was short due to the action of another employee.