A Walt Disney World Cast Member has been charged with two misdemeanors after stealing almost $34,000 from the company over a two-year period.
According to Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel, the 53-year-old woman had worked for Disney since 1990. According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office report, she stole $33,988 from Disney while working at the Transportation and Ticket Center between January 2017 and May 2019, at which point she was fired.
“The Defendant was responsible for issuing theme park tickets and MagicBands to guests wishing to enter the various Walt Disney World locations,” the sheriff’s report stated. “The Defendant would systematically activate the Disney MagicBands, collect cash from guests for the purchase and subsequently void the transactions and pocket the cash.”
Disney provided the sheriff’s office with financial documents, statements, and photographs for their investigation. A Disney investigator said the Cast Member stood out because she had lower cash sales and the number of MagicBands she activated did not match with how many she sold. In 2018, she sold 1,965 MagicBands, but activated 3,272.
Disney investigators caught the Cast Member by pretending to be guests picking up their tickets and MagicBands in the spring of 2019. During two undercover investigations, they paid with cash, were not given a receipt, and noted the Cast Member placed the cash to the side.
She ultimately admitted to stealing the $33,988. According to the report, she was “doing this to help pay bills and she had been sending her mother home $100 a month since her father passed away in 2017.”
Though the Sheriff’s Office said there was probable cause to charge the Cast Member with grand theft and scheme to defraud and Disney wished to press charges, she avoided a felony and jail time.
The state attorney’s office said there were “concerns” in the case. Their file stated it was lacking the scheme to defraud, she “did not obtain cash under false pretenses”, and “corpus issues with the estimate of ~$40K.”
In October, the Cast Member pleaded no contest to petit theft and was charged with misdemeanor theft for the cash she pocketed from the MagicBands sold to Disney investigators. She was placed on twelve-month probation, given a $273 fine, and is required to complete community service and a seminar on impulse control. She is banned from returning to Walt Disney World.
Source: Orlando Sentinel