Current weather

  • Clear sky
  • 45°
    Clear sky
  • Comment

Soldotna waitress charged with defrauding receipts

Posted: March 31, 2014 - 9:37pm  |  Updated: April 1, 2014 - 5:08pm

A Soldotna woman admitted to police that she altered around 100 gift and credit card transactions totaling $677 in tips in a five-month span at a café she worked at in the Blazy Mall in Soldotna.

Ellanora Nelson, 18, was arrested on March 14 and charged with scheme to defraud, a Class B Felony, and unauthorized use of access device, a Class C Felony. If convicted on both charges, Nelson could face a maximum of 15 years in prison and $150,000 fine.

Soldotna Police were contacted by Corner Café owner Cynthia Day on March 13 to report her employee Nelson, who had quit the day before, had altered gift and credit card receipts to increase her tips, according to a police report filed by Officer Stephen Clary.

Nelson admitted to Day she started altering receipts back in November and wanted to talk with police to resolve the incident, according to the affidavit.

During an interview with police, Nelson said she would only charge people for a few items and would take the rest of the bill and place it into the tip column to prevent the customer from noticing the extra money taken from the card, according to the report.

Day provided police with multiple credit card receipts changed by Nelson from December to March. The following day the owner called police after discovering several more receipts that had rather large tip amounts added for small purchases, according to the affidavit.

One of the café customers contacted the owner about his purchase of a mocha drink back in November and had been charged $16.91 on a credit card the customer never uses. The customer told Day he left his wallet on the counter after purchasing the drink and walked away, according to the report.

Day did not want to comment on her former employee, but said it is a “terrible and unfortunate incident” and she wants to do her best to make it right for her customers. She said if people who feel they were mischarged in the last five months can come in and she would work with them to correct it.

Nelson was placed under arrest and arraigned in Kenai District Court on March 15. At a bail hearing two days later, Judge Martin Fallon set Nelson’s bail at $5,000 with 10 percent paid in cash. Joel Nelson posted $500 appearance bond for her release.

Attorney William Walton is representing Nelson. Her next court date is Friday at the Kenai Courthouse.

 

Reach Dan Balmer at daniel.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com.

  • Comment

Comments (11) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
aspiecelia
109
Points
aspiecelia 04/01/14 - 03:11 pm
4
2
Her Youth

I hope that at her young age the judge makes a decision to help facilitate change rather than harm her with a long sentence and huge restitution. Probation and community service with one or two days of jail will have a big impression on one so young.

"Justice is not only the way we punish those who do wrong. It is the way we try to save them." From Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Suss
3638
Points
Suss 04/01/14 - 05:44 pm
4
1
Restitution

The restitution wll only be huge if the amounts proven to be stolen are huge. This young person will have plenty of time(3 or 5 years of probation) to recompense the injured parties. Why, oh, why is growing up so difficult? Sad story for the young lady, sadder still for those that trusted her.

northernshrike
32
Points
northernshrike 04/01/14 - 06:58 pm
3
2
Many victims involved.

To steal once or twice a person can sometimes be taut a lesson with a slap on the hand but stealing and defrauding from 100 or more people over months and also doing the same thing at a past employer that there my be 100 more elsewhere that have be victims.This type of behavior will continue unless some firm punishment is handed down and on top of some jail time a letter of apology to each victim with payment.Public humility is a start for her now as by having her name read all day long over the radio station and in the paper may give her a reality check as to the severity of the crimes.Sorry for her family to have a to go through this and i hope she sees the pain she has caused in all of this.Committing felony's on a daily basis is not normal and should not be taken lightly.

mikehu
169
Points
mikehu 04/02/14 - 04:09 pm
4
1
So young

I tend to think that much of this kind of fraud is due to somebody who is struggling to make it in life. That is in no way a justification for fraud; but is to me an indication of desperation. In this case, she is so young and I hope the lesson is learned early. If she is in fact struggling with other life factors, hopefully she can learn a valuable lesson without it being life crippling. She has a chance to come back better for it.

Norseman
3373
Points
Norseman 04/02/14 - 05:48 pm
3
4
By the time you are 18, you

By the time you are 18, you had better know right from wrong. Sorry, no sympathy here, she deserves jail time.

jlmh
352
Points
jlmh 04/02/14 - 06:28 pm
5
1
Bad, but not 15 years bad

I think 15 years in prison for an 18-year-old would be tragically heavy-handed. It seems financial crimes are more severely punished than violent crimes. Hopefully her cooperation and young age will inspire justice that promotes rehabilitation rather than excessive jail time. I mean really, I can't imagine that 15 years in prison will make any more of a difference in her moral outcome than, say, one year.

It's going to be impossible for her to get a job handling money again, anyway.

Raoulduke
3055
Points
Raoulduke 04/02/14 - 07:46 pm
1
5
A Thief

Sympathy for a HABITUAL thief is not the correct way to feel toward such ilk.She IS an adult.We have military service personnel dying for our country that are her age.She should have known right from wrong by the time she hit the age of 10,or earlier.Community service,probation,or public apologies She will be laughing in your faces.I believe 3-5 years for HER crimes might wake her up.I can not tolerate theft of any kind.If you would steal a nickel.You would steal a million dollars.I think the Arab world has the proper punishment for thieves.

barlow
17
Points
barlow 04/03/14 - 09:27 am
4
2
Wrong

What she did is wrong. What waiters are paid is wrong. Most of you cheat on your taxes wrong ! 15 years for this but let child molesters off because prison would not be good for him !!!!

cheapersmokes
947
Points
cheapersmokes 04/03/14 - 03:59 pm
2
4
Noone got cheated out of any money except the store owner!

The way I read this article she charged them the same amount of money that they were due to pay but only listed a few items and added in a nice tip for herself. I would imagine the pay was so low and very few tips either so she got creative and was able to make enough to pay her bills and maybe provide for her family. Give her probation, some community service and a weekend in jail.

beaverlooper
2976
Points
beaverlooper 04/03/14 - 05:30 pm
2
1
A previous poster has

A previous poster has suggested 3 to 5 years in jail. The average cost per prisoner in Alaska is $44,000 per year. That means $132,000.00 to $220,000.00 for a theft of $677.00.
677 hours of community service and restitution would i think be a more equitable solution , would not cost the state(you and I) a fortune and perhaps rehabilitate the girl instead of putting her in jail to learn better ways to steal.

Raoulduke
3055
Points
Raoulduke 04/03/14 - 05:49 pm
1
2
excuses,excuses

Making excuses for a habitual thief is being an ENABLER for such behavior. CONGRATULATIONS!

Back to Top

Spotted

Please Note: You may have disabled JavaScript and/or CSS. Although this news content will be accessible, certain functionality is unavailable.

Skip to News

« back

next »

  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321268/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321253/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321248/
  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321243/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321208/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/320593/
  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321173/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321163/
My Gallery

CONTACT US

  • 150 Trading Bay Rd, Kenai, AK 99611
  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

MORRIS ALASKA NEWS