Young v. Delgado
A court can award treble damages, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §52-564, if an owner proves an employee engages in statutory theft. After a trial to the court, the court found the following facts. The plaintiff, Judy Young, owns four McDonald's Restaurants in the Hartford area and hired the defendant, Sandra Delgado, to work as a manager. Delgado was responsible to supervise eight "shift managers" and a crew of 30 cooks and cashiers. Allegedly, Delgado instructed her shift managers that Delgado would count the cash and prepare the bank deposits, using the passwords of the shift managers, although this was the shift manager's job. An accounting firm, Landau Arnold and Laufer, audited the McDonald's Restaurants and allegedly found discrepancies at the McDonald's Restaurant managed by Delgado, because there was an extraordinary delay between when deposits were entered into the computer system and when they were deposited at the bank. Asked about missing deposits, Delgado allegedly started to make corrections to a record book and asked a shift manager to deliver the deposit books to her in the McDonald's Restaurant parking lot. A strong inference exists that, if those deposit books were available, they would contain evidence against Delgado. Surveillance tapes allegedly showed Delgado handling cash, bagging a deposit that was not entered into the computer and failing to follow established procedure for handling cash and cash receipts. Delgado denied that she failed to follow correct procedures. The court found that the plaintiff proved that Delgado engaged in statutory theft of $50,797. "[I]t is more likely than not," wrote the court, "that the defendant wrongfully took cash deposits belonging to the plaintiff, then engaged in a pattern of utilizing current deposits to cover the missing cash." The court awarded the plaintiff treble damages in the amount of $152,391, pursuant to C.G.S. §52-564.