ELKHORN

A Williams Bay man is charged with embezzling more than $60,000 from the Waterfront Pub & Grill in the town of Delavan during his time as general manager.

Rick A. Johnson, 41, of 533 Prairie View Road, is charged with felony theft in a business setting after he embezzled $60,101.03 in 45 transactions between August 2014 and December 2016, according to a criminal complaint.

At the end of 2016, Johnson told the restaurant’s ownership he would resign, according to the complaint. Johnson apologized for letting the owners down and not doing a good enough job running the restaurant.

At this time, Johnson told ownership the restaurant was losing money and that his salary was too expensive to keep the business running, the complaint states. In January 2017, Johnson said he was owed four paychecks that he did not cash because he said the business was hurting.

The owners soon discovered they were losing money and had an accountant look over the books, according to the complaint.

The audit found irregularities in the way Johnson was recording finances, including not paying payroll taxes and other items that should be taken from employee paychecks.

Johnson also took money from the restaurant to buy personal items and make payments on his credit cards, the complaint states.

Two weeks after ownership asked Johnson about a missing business credit card, the restaurant received a new card in the mail and found out the old one had been reported as lost or stolen, according to the complaint.

On May 29, 2016, there was a $1,098.47 purchase on a business credit card for patio furniture. The business never got such items, according to the complaint.

On three separate occasions in June and September 2016, cash totals from the bar for thousands of dollars had not been deposited into the bank, the complaint states.

When ownership asked Johnson about the missing money, Johnson said, “I (expletive) up, I’m sorry. What can we do about this?” according to the complaint. Johnson denied taking $60,000 and said he thought he had taken $8,000 to $9,000.

Johnson is scheduled for an initial court appearance at 1:15 p.m. Jan. 11.

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