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July 31, 2023

Fast-food restaurant manager in Lancaster County allegedly created fake employee to get extra pay, cops say

Linda Johnson, 35, ran a Wendy's in Manheim Township, where investigators say she netted an extra $20,000. She is still being sought by police

Investigations Fraud
Wendys Lancaster County StreetView/Google Maps

The manager of a Pennsylvania Wendy's restaurant is wanted for allegedly adding a fake employee to her restaurant's payroll and pocketing the additional salary. Investigators say the scheme netted Linda Johnson almost $20,000.

The manager of a Wendy's in Lancaster County is wanted for allegedly making up a fake employee to add to her restaurant's payroll so she could pocket an additional salary, and police said the scheme netted her $20,000.

The insurance company for the fast-food franchise had contacted investigators after an audit found 22 paychecks had been made out to a man named William Bright, who never actually worked at the Wendy's. Authorities allege this man's employment was made up by the restaurant's manager Linda Johnson, 35, who doctored paperwork and timecards and then deposited checks issued to Bright into her own CashApp account between June 2021 and May 2022.

Manheim Township police spoke with employees at the Wendy's, at 1117 Harrisburg Pike, and said no one knew a co-worker named William Brite.  When police questioned Johnson in April, she allegedly admitted Bright was a ghost employee, whom she would clock in and out at the restaurant.

Paychecks for William Bright totaled $19,898 in gross pay, police said, and the total loss to the insurance company was $15,846.

Johnson, originally from Monroe, Louisiana, is wanted on a charge of theft by deception, but she has avoided arrest for several weeks, police said. Anyone with information on about her whereabouts can call Manheim Township police at (717) 569-6401.