Cheddar's waitress guilty of $80,000 theft

Rebecca Johnson McWhorter


A Kountze woman has pleaded guilty to stealing over $80,000 from a Beaumont restaurant where she worked as a server.

Rebecca Johnson McWhorter, 44, was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury Aug. 29 for felony theft.

She pleaded guilty in Judge John Stevens’ Criminal District Court on Monday, Nov. 18, telling Stevens she would do her best to pay back the sizable restitution at a rate of at least $1,500 per month as part of her plea deal.

According to an affidavit for arrest warrant obtained by The Examiner, police were contacted by the owner of Cheddar’s at 3815 Interstate 10 in Beaumont, who told officers there were major discrepancies discovered in the restaurant’s yearly finances.

While conducting an end-of-year financial report, the owner “discovered an unusually high amount of gift certificates and comp certificates used throughout the year,” the affidavit said.

When the owner dug a little deeper, he learned it was two servers who were pillaging his restaurant’s coffers, fraudulently ringing up the certificates and taking the cash with which customers had actually paid.

The affidavit said McWhorter was particularly to blame, having rung up $83,838.05 in comps and gift certificates between February 2012 and December 2012.

When confronted by the owner, the affidavit said McWhorter confessed to the theft and wrote out a hand-written confession, which she later signed.

After pleading guilty, Judge Stevens sentenced McWhorter to 10 years probation, a $500 fine and $83,000 in restitution to Cheddars.

McWhorter must also take a theft prevention class and advise her current employer of her guilty plea to felony theft.