April 26, 2013
LIMA — Menards is suing its former store manager, alleging theft that led to his termination and criminal conviction.
Menards filed the lawsuit this week in Allen County Common Pleas Court against Timothy Bart, seeking more than $300,000 in damages. That amount include three times the value of money Menards said he stole — $97,805 — plus more than $25,000 in punitive damages.
Menards said Bart stole more than the $22,155 he admitted taking in his felony theft case.
The lawsuit said he executed fraudulent return transactions, pretending previously sold merchandise was being returned to the store.
How he did it
Bart collected information from a prior valid sale — such as the date and time of a purchase, the items purchased and method of payment. He created a fictitious return transaction for the previously sold merchandise, the lawsuit said.
Bart then ordered another store employee to process the transaction, giving a false impression the same merchandise was being returned for its original cash value. No merchandise was ever returned in the transactions, the lawsuit said.
Bart would take money out of a register equal to the cash value of the merchandise. He told employees the money was for a customer returning the merchandise but no customers ever came to collect the money on the return, the lawsuit said.
Bart would take the money for himself at the end of the day. Bart began stealing in 2010 and continued until his termination, the lawsuit said.
Bart was sentenced to two years probation in his criminal case and ordered to pay back the money he stole. He was employed as the store’s general manager from May 31, 2005, to Jan. 19, the lawsuit said.