WEST BEND — One West Bend woman is accused of stealing as much as $100,000 from a local business and appeared in court to fight her charges.
Pamela Hastings allegedly stole from a George Webb restaurant between January and May of this year. Police spoke with the restaurant owner, who said he found his daily bank deposits did not add up and realized some were missing entirely. The ensuing investigation led police to the 47-year-old, who was responsible for the bank deposits at that time. Hastings allegedly admitted what she had done verbally and in an apology to the owner. She was able to provide the missing statements and the information she gave matched what the owner observed, according to a criminal complaint.
When questioned by police, the defendant allegedly stated she was in financial hardship and turned to stealing from the restaurant. Hastings admitted stealing before the period the owner noticed money missing, the complaint states, but she could not give the money back because she had already spent it.
If you run a business, non-profit, charity, or anything else that handles money, never trust any one person. Check, verify, triple-check, audit, have multiple layers of sign-off, etc. Even good people get desperate and bad people will put themselves in a position to thieve. In this case, the owner caught it, but only after a lot of money was stolen over five months. If the owner had simply checked his bank account every day to ensure that the deposits were put in from the day before, he would have caught it much earlier. It’s a shame that you can’t trust people to do a simple deposit, but that’s the world we live in.