A female employee at Roma Italian Restaurant is facing a felony charge for fraud after she pocketed cash and cancelled multiple transactions.
On Wednesday, January 12, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office corporal responded to the restaurant which is located at 2775 NW 49th Avenue in Ocala due to reports of theft.
The restaurant’s owner told the corporal that an employee, Leah Racquel Kelly, was suspected of stealing money from the business.
A relative of the owner stated that on Saturday, January 8, another employee noticed something suspicious when Kelly was completing a transaction. The owner’s relative reviewed security footage of the transaction, and Kelly was seen on video accepting a cash payment for two pizzas. Kelly placed the cash behind the register instead of inside the register’s drawer.
On Thursday, January 14, the corporal spoke with a witness who saw Kelly accept cash for an order on January 8. According to the witness, Kelly cancelled the order in the system, the register drawer was never opened, and the cash was placed behind the screen of the register.
The corporal obtained a list of every transaction at the restaurant between Saturday, January 8 and Sunday, January 9. According to the MCSO report, the corporal watched video footage of the following cancelled transactions:
- On January 8 at around 2:25 p.m., Kelly collected cash from a customer for a $36.92 order. She placed the cash on top of the register while another employee opened the register to retrieve change. Kelly then cancelled the order in the computer and placed the cash, along with the order ticket, behind the register.
- On January 8 at around 2:30 p.m., Kelly collected cash from a customer for a $13.38 order. The cash was combined with money from a previous order that was stored behind the register. The order’s ticket was placed in a stack of completed tickets, Kelly cancelled the order, and the cash was placed into her left pocket.
- On January 8 at around 4:25 pm., Kelly collected an unspecified amount of cash from a customer for another order. When the order was cancelled, Kelly placed the cash into her left pocket.
- On January 9 at 12:40 p.m., Kelly collected cash from a customer for a $23.54 order. She cancelled the order, placed the cash into her back pocket, and walked out of the camera’s view.
According to the MCSO report, Kelly was already incarcerated at Marion County Jail for an unrelated incident, and the corporal visited the jail to conduct an interview on Wednesday, February 2.
Kelly claimed that the restaurant would get busy, and she would sometimes place the cash and order ticket onto the register or into her pocket to enter into the system at a later time. She denied stealing any money.
The corporal noted in the MCSO report that Kelly was seen on the security footage separating the tickets on the ticket holder and placing the cash into her pocket. The corporal observed that Kelly would have been unable to keep track of the orders, and the orders were cancelled in a manner that did not require a manager’s approval.
Kelly is currently being held at Marion County Jail on $5,000 bond and she is facing a felony charge for fraud (obtaining property under $20,000).
A court date has been scheduled on Tuesday, March 8 at 9 a.m., according to jail records.