Local News

Woman accused of fraud at restaurant

— It might have appeared that a waitress at a Lake Placid restaurant was doing an extraordinary job.

Just for serving a beer costing less than $2, she would receive a tip that might be as much as $100, according to an arrest report released Tuesday.

But authorities said that the tips and the restaurant tickets were bogus, the report said.

The waitress, Christina Dawn Wood, 916 Amaranth Ave., Lake Placid, was arrested by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office and charged with scheme to defraud.

The report said that Wood is accused of theft of almost $1,300 from Jaxson’s Restaurant and Lounge, where she worked as a waitress.

Wood is accused of entering transactions resulting in her getting a relatively large amount of cash, the total of her tips, at the end of the shift, the report said.

Wood would use one of her three debit cards to enter a transaction that might include a glass of beer from $1.45, the report said. She would add a tip that ranged from $70 to $100, the report added.

Because of a computer problem that delayed the transaction reaching the credit card company, the restaurant did not learn of those phony sales for months, the report said. Wood admitted that she was aware of the computer problem, the report said.

The restaurant discovered what happened after receiving information that the system declined the debit cards because of insufficient funds, the report said. But, Wood had already received the tips included in the charges to the debit cards, the report said.

The investigation discovered 27 suspicious transactions made by Wood during a several-month period.


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