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Hospital worker probed in thefts

She is suspected of stealing $234,000 from cafeteria cash register.

September 13, 2008|Tony Barboza | Times Staff Writer

Fountain Valley police are investigating an Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center employee suspected of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from cafeteria cash registers over the last five years.

Bridget Ganier, 37, of Fullerton, an executive assistant responsible for turning in cash deposits from the Fountain Valley hospital cafeteria, is believed to have stolen an estimated $234,000 starting in September 2003, police said Friday.

The investigation was made public in an affidavit police filed to search her financial records, said Fountain Valley Police Lt. Jim McNeff.

Police said Ganier told them that she started stealing cash in small amounts, about $50 to $100 a week, falsifying receipts to make up for the difference. After getting away with it for more than two years, she told them, she began stealing entire registers full of cash -- about $3,000 a week.

She told police that she got in over her head and could not stop taking the money because the increased revenue would raise a red flag.

And that's exactly what happened.

The hospital's finance department contacted police July 3 after noticing that receipts roughly doubled when Ganier went on vacation.

Ganier has not yet been charged with a crime and has cooperated with police as they compare her financial records with those of the hospital, McNeff said.

Although police do not know what became of all the money, McNeff said, they have determined that some of it was deposited in her personal bank account.

"I'm assuming she was living beyond her means," McNeff said.

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tony.barboza@latimes.com

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