Police: Woman embezzled $64,000 from Food King

Corey Friedman | Daily Journal Police say a 22-year-old former employee embezzled nearly $64,000 from the Food King grocery store at 305 E. Washington St. in downtown Rockingham. The defendant disputes the amount of missing money.

ROCKINGHAM — A former Food King employee is accused of pocketing $64,000, a nearly sixfold increase from the amount of money she says she admitted taking from the downtown grocery store.

Rebecca Lorran Richardson, 22, of 109 Greenfield Road in Hamlet, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of felony embezzlement. Rockingham police say in an arrest warrant that she stole $63,914.34 from the 305 E. Washington St. store between April 1, 2014 and May 1 of this year.

Richardson estimates she took $8,000 from the store and signed a written statement claiming responsibility for $11,000 in missing money.

“I did come forward and confess,” Richardson said Friday. “I didn’t want to fight in court, but then they came up with this amount of money and that makes me want to fight.”

Richardson is due in Richmond County District Court on the charge Thursday and said she’ll ask for a court-appointed attorney. She says she’s willing to repay what she took, but not an amount six times greater.

“I don’t know what they’re trying to do,” she said. “If I had $64,000, I would not even be in North Carolina. I’m afraid someone’s going to come and rob me because they think I have $64,000.”

Richardson said the store waited three weeks to contact police after she came forward and admitted to taking $11,000. In that time, she said, store management came up with the much larger amount.

“I believed it was $8,000, and I upped it to 11 to make sure,” she said.

Management at Food King referred questions to store owner Bryan Dozier, who is parent company Montgomery Foods’ president and a member of the Montgomery County Board of Education. A phone message left for Dozier was not returned in time for this story.

Embezzlement of property received by virtue of office or employment is a Class H felony that carries a presumptive sentence of 5 to 6 months in prison for a defendant with no prior criminal convictions.

At a judge’s discretion, a first-time convict could receive community service or supervised probation on the charge in lieu of an active sentence.

Richardson was released on a $3,000 unsecured bond. Court records show she also has a pending charge of reckless driving to endanger in Richmond County.

Reach Editor Corey Friedman at 910-817-2670 and follow him on Twitter @RCDailyJournal.