Ex-high school cafeteria manager admits to stealing $120,000

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Co-workers say they noticed something wasn't right when Brenda Watts only did cash transactions.

A former Fulton County high school cafeteria manager pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $120,000 in cash, Channel 2 Action News reported Tuesday.

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Brenda Watts

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Brenda Watts

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

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Brenda Watts

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Brenda Watts was charged with theft by conversion after stealing money from North Springs High School for about five years through a series of 150 deposits to her bank account, Channel 2 reported.

A cafeteria worker, Beth Walsh, originally questioned in 2014 why a food cart in the cafeteria didn't have any electronic records, Channel 2 reported. That led to Watts resigning and being charged with theft eight months later.

“I saw wrongdoing, so I reported it,” Walsh said. “I think I probably got terminated for that.”

Walsh took videos of the cafeteria, including its four lines that all had electronic cash registers to keep track of sales, the news station reported. However, food was also sold at a cart overseen by Watts, which only accepted cash.

Walsh told Channel 2 she thought the cart made an average of about $300 a day, which would potentially add up to more than $50,000 a year.

Three years later, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office obtained an indictment, which Watts pleaded guilty to, Channel 2 reported. The judge ordered her to repay the money she stole, but she will receive no jail time, Channel 2 reported.

Walsh filed a suit against the Fulton County School System and accepted a $50,000 settlement, the news station reported.

The school district emailed Channel 2 that it has toughened its procedures regarding inventory control and has increased training for all employees.

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