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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — A 22-year-old Menomonie woman who was a waitress at Jake’s Supper Club pleaded no contest and has been found guilty of credit card fraud to increase the amount of her tips.
Kaylee L. Sutliff, along with her attorney Samantha Richie, appeared for plea hearing last month in Dunn County Circuit Court before Judge Rod Smeltzer.
Sutliff was charged with four misdemeanor counts of theft by false representation of less than $2,500 and one misdemeanor count of bail jumping.
Judge Smeltzer found Sutliff guilty of one count of misdemeanor theft by false representation, withheld sentence, placed Sutliff on one year of probation and ordered her to complete 40 hours of community service by November 15, 2019.
Judge Smeltzer also ordered Sutliff to pay $243 in court costs, a $200 DNA surcharge, and a $10 drug abuse surcharge.
Sutliff will be eligible to have the charges expunged from her record if she successfully completes probation and pays the court costs and restitution.
The remaining three counts of theft by false representation and one count of misdemeanor bail jumping were dismissed but read into the record for restitution.
In a separate case, Sutliff was charged in November with one misdemeanor count of retail theft in Dunn County.
The misdemeanor count of retail theft also was dismissed but read into the record for restitution.
A restitution hearing is scheduled in Dunn County Circuit Court May 14.
According to the criminal complaint, a deputy with the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to Jake’s Supper Club on County Highway D in the Town of Tainter on December 21 where he was informed a waitress was suspected of committing credit card fraud.
Peter Gruetzmacher, the owner of Jake’s Supper Club, said he had received a call from a man on December 10 who said he had been overcharged on his credit card. Gruetzmacher was able to locate the credit card slip and forwarded a copy of it to the man, who informed Gruetzmacher the writing on the slip was not his, and the credit card slip had been forged.
Gruetzmacher told the deputy he had contacted the waitress, Kaylee Sutliff, and forwarded a copy of the credit card slip to her by text message. Sutliff said she had wrote in the amount of the tip on the slip but denied adjusting the total on the credit card charge, according to the complaint.
Gruetzmacher said Sutliff had worked at Jake’s for a few months, and he had no reason not to believe her. Customers forgetting to fill out credit card slips or filling them out incorrectly is common, and Gruetzmacher said he gave Sutliff the benefit of the doubt and assumed the man had done the math incorrectly and that Sutliff had written in the tip but had not changed the total amount, according to the complaint.
Gruetzmacher told the deputy he had learned on December 20 that Sutliff had recently been arrested for retail theft, so he contacted his bookkeeper and asked her to start looking through Sutliff’s credit slips for possible changes to the tip and total amounts.
The bookkeeper had located several credit slips that been tampered with, Gruetzmacher said.
Judge Smeltzer set a cash bail of $200 in the credit card fraud case on January 3, and Sutliff posted the cash bail of $200 on January 7.