Former employee charged with embezzling $15,000 from Belfast business

By Tanya Mitchell | Apr 11, 2014
Source: Belfast Police Department Sarah Fuller

Belfast — A former employee at a Belfast eatery has been arrested on a charge of Class B theft after a year-long investigation showed she stole about $15,000 from the business over the course of about five months.

Sarah Fuller, 30, was arrested on that charge April 1. Fuller was a Belfast resident at the time of the alleged thefts, but Belfast Detective Sgt. Bryan Cunningham said she has since relocated to Brooks.

According to Cunningham, the investigation began when the owner at Bell the Cat called police to report the business appeared to be missing money.

The business owner initially thought the recent change in the business location from Renys Plaza to Starrett Drive may have resulted in less business, but Cunningham said once it seemed as though the loss was possibly due to employee theft the owner called police.

Cunningham said a year-long review of all employee work schedules, register receipts and text messages from Fuller to her employers showed that Fuller fraudulently obtained the money largely by voiding out transactions and taking more money than what the original transaction showed. Cunningham estimated Fuller was taking an average of up to $600 per week from the register, in addition to money that text messages had shown she had borrowed from her employer for various household bills and other expenses.

Cunningham said the messages demonstrating Fuller was having financial troubles helped establish a motive for the alleged thefts.

Cunningham said the thefts occurred over the course of Fuller's employment, which spanned from August 2012 through January 2013, when Fuller was "let go" from her job.

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