June 20, 2022

Check out this handmade sign posted to the front door of a shuttered Jimmy John’s sandwich chain shop in Missouri last week. See if you can tell from the store owner’s message what happened.

If you guessed that someone in the Jimmy John’s store might have fallen victim to a Business Email Compromise (BEC) or “CEO fraud” scheme — wherein the scammers impersonate company executives to steal money — you’d be in good company.

In fact, that was my initial assumption when a reader in Missouri shared this photo after being turned away from his favorite local sub shop. But a conversation with the store’s owner Steve Saladin brought home the truth that some of the best solutions to fighting fraud are even more low-tech than BEC scams.

Visit any random fast-casual dining establishment and there’s a good chance you’ll see a sign somewhere from the management telling customers their next meal is free if they don’t receive a receipt with their food. While it may not be obvious, such policies are meant to deter employee theft.

The idea is to force employees to finalize all sales and create a transaction that gets logged by the company’s systems. The offer also incentivizes customers to help keep employees honest by reporting when they don’t get a receipt with their food, because employees can often conceal transactions by canceling them before they’re completed. In that scenario, the employee gives the customer their food and any change, and then pockets the rest.

You can probably guess by now that this particular Jimmy John’s franchise — in Sunset Hills, Mo. — was among those that chose not to incentivize its customers to insist upon receiving receipts. Thanks to that oversight, Saladin was forced to close the store last week and fire the husband-and-wife managers for allegedly embezzling nearly $100,000 in cash payments from customers.

Saladin said he began to suspect something was amiss after he agreed to take over the Monday and Tuesday shifts for the couple so they could have two consecutive days off together. He said he noticed that cash receipts at the end of the nights on Mondays and Tuesdays were “substantially larger” than when he wasn’t manning the till, and that this was consistent over several weeks.

Then he had friends proceed through his restaurant’s drive-thru, to see if they received receipts for cash payments.

“One of [the managers] would take an order at the drive-thru, and when they determined the customer was going to pay with cash the other would make the customer’s change for it, but then delete the order before the system could complete it and print a receipt,” Saladin said.

Saladin said his attorneys and local law enforcement are now involved, and he estimates the former employees stole close to $100,000 in cash receipts. That was on top of the $115,000 in salaries he paid in total each year to the two employees. Saladin also has to figure out a way to pay his franchisor a fee for each of the stolen transactions.

Now Saladin sees the wisdom of adding the receipt sign, and says all of his stores will soon carry a sign offering $10 in cash to any customers who report not receiving a receipt with their food.

Many business owners are reluctant to involve the authorities when they discover that a current or former employee has stolen from them. Too often, organizations victimized by employee theft shy away from reporting it because they’re worried that any resulting media coverage of the crime will do more harm than good.

But there are quiet ways to ensure embezzlers get their due. A few years back, I attended a presentation by an investigator with the criminal division of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) who suggested that any embezzling victims seeking a discreet law enforcement response should simply contact the IRS.

The agent said the IRS is obligated to investigate all notifications it receives from employers about unreported income, but that embezzling victims often neglect to even notify the agency. That’s a shame, he said, because under U.S. federal law, anyone who willfully attempts to evade or defeat taxes can be charged with a felony, with penalties including up to $100,000 in fines, up to five years in prison, and the costs of prosecution.

530 thoughts on “Why Paper Receipts are Money at the Drive-Thru

    1. John Wick

      Turn the other cheek when someone steals from you, if you have anything worth stealing. Probably not.

      1. Lee

        People who promote these Nasty ways, well Karma will be a close friend of y’alls,
        These businesses are key to all of our Communities

        1. Bubba

          Hahaha you are a very sad, strange little man and I bet you dont even have a community. Pathetic

        2. Kris

          Thankyou ..it only hurts us all in the end and the shame of it is that there’s plenty for us all to eat

        3. Knowbetter

          Just earth Fallacy… justice doesn’t exist inherently, we have to strive to maintain it. They’ll only “get theirs” if someone delivers it.

      2. Steve

        Why turn the other cheek?
        They, like politicians who steal, lie, & cheat need to be held accountable.

    2. Brady Williams

      You’re obviously not very bright. And clearly States that he got them.

    3. J p

      Why would you hope that? They were making $115k at a fast food joint. WTH?

        1. Angelo

          No. $57,500 each. Your horrible at basic arithmetic.

            1. Melissa Robinson

              ❤️❤️❤️ the basic English lesson! Sincerely, a 21 year veteran HS Special Education Teacher

          1. FJB

            Spelling and grammar not in your wheelhouse. You must be a bIdEn Kid. Inept morons of society.

            1. Lady Takotsubo

              Right, it’s that thinking that clearly gets you far in life.

            2. Bidenwon

              Your orange headed leader is a loooosssseeerrrrr. Sorry your still mad he lost. I hope he runs again cant wait to watch him lose again!

          2. Tony

            And “you’re” horrible at basic spelling.

      1. Trisch

        I know!! Even if that was $115,000 between the two of them that would be $57,500 a piece a year.
        What town & state is that? I’m moving there! (Jk)

        1. Bart

          Article doesn’t say what period of time that pay was for. Could be two years, or could be two months. Could be amazing pay, could be awful. 58k/yr for a fast food franchise manager doesn’t strike me as a whole lot -though I don’t understand why he’d have two managers working the same shifts for a whole year.

          1. Steve

            “That was on top of the $115,000 in salaries he paid in total each year to the two employees.”

            Apparently you didn’t read the article or are sorely lacking in comprehensive skills.

          2. Lala

            That’s close to $30 an hour. That seems pretty good for fast food to me.

          3. Bubbie56

            Average salary food service ranges 40,000 to 60,000 regional managers 90-125,000 the average employee low pay

      2. Jamie

        Totally Agree With You ‼️
        WHY , would you embezzle in the first place ?! They can kiss getting a decent job ever again GOOD-BYE‼️
        And SHAME ON YOU BOTH❣️❣️

    4. Mark Heinsius


      1. Myopia

        oh yes… SOMEONE had to go there.

        Congratulations, you win the prize for the most politically inappropriate comment of the day.

        You must be so proud.

    5. Me

      You and people like you are what is wrong in the world today! I hope one day there isn’t an idiot out there that steals from your kid. Only to hear people say “I hope they get away with it”. SMH about people like this.

    6. Ding-a-ling

      Al Capone went to Alcatraz for tax embezzlement.

      1. ........

        Wow, not only was that offensive and insensitive, but entirely detached from reality.

      2. Myopia

        why is it that rightists have such a limited view of reality?

    7. Cuckie monster

      Let’s play ping pong with a king Kong ding dong that is real long in a man thong while you sing songs and clear bongs down in Hongkong

    8. GetALife

      You aren’t the brightest crayon in the box.

    9. William G

      I hope they are forced to pay it all back with interest. Damn low life’s.

    10. Steve

      Why do you hope they get away with it? They, like politicians who steal, lie, & cheat need to be held accountable.

  1. Donald trump

    In Egypt they cut your hands and Arms and fingers off for stealing bet no one would steal if they thought they would loose a few fingers etc

    1. Lee

      Very true and yes I think we would have a whole lot less thievery going on

    2. Ted Bundy

      So move to Egypt and take Coupallini with you!

    3. Ryan Johnson

      Trading fewer thieves, for a whole bunch of other problems. I’d rather have more thievery than Egypt’s problems.

      1. Frankwithevery1

        This just proves that ppl r not only greedy but ignorant! Even some of the comments are unintelligent!- the ur horrible at math”!- pretty sure they were giving a general closeness to the correct figure!-nobody on these sights is doing research & investing much thought to specific details!- like the genius”Donald trump”- if they cut off ur arms & hands-it’s KNOWN that “fingers” r included in that group!ppl just LOVE to 1)say ignorant & 2) NOT get along!this country breeds ignorance & neglects education!✌

        1. Aaron

          Why does every comment section have to be filled with hate and ppl attacking others ppls comments… what the hero do you get out of it… I mean really does it make you feel like your superior? What does it do for you, may you wet or something. Everything is a hateful debate. And if you got something to say to me make sure you include your info so we can arrange a meet for you to back up the tough guy mouth of yours…

          1. BiggerThomas

            They are trolls who say things to get a rise out if people and stir up division. Like Donald Trump did to get to the White House and take over the Republican party. We need civility and respect. We need to stop demonizing Conservatives or Liberals and instead condemn the perpetrators and instigators of gate and division. Regardless of party

        2. Chupacabra

          Well said, thank you for speaking up on that I was thinking the same thing.

    4. Trisch

      I know!! Even if that was $115,000 between the two of them that would be $57,500 a piece a year.
      What town & state is that? I’m moving there! (Jk)


      Trump would need more fingers.

      1. FkBrandon

        Yeah as if BRANDON is such a Saint, libTARD

        1. nope

          Biden can still be sub par and still lightyears a better president. Biden just needs to NOT do crazy shhit

    6. Mary Wilson

      In Adams county, Ohio the same stands to some. I grew up in the same neighborhood with these guys they being brothers a year apart horrible thieves gas, stilts, logs anything that wasn’t locked down it was there’s for the taking. I saw the younger brother a few years back and noticed his fingers where gone. I had to ask his brother the other thieve cut his younger brothers fingers off. Apparently you don’t steal from fam.

    7. Myopia

      which century are you living in? That hasn’t happened in Egypt for a VERY long time.

      But hey… your opinion is paramount, isn’t it…

  2. Dee

    Thats alot of todays problems. Truth and honesty has become almost nonexistant. Who can we trust anymore besides ourselves. Sad.

  3. cookie clicker

    It is improper to ask customers to oversee a company’s personnel. A scumbag would only inform on a minimum-wage employee in order to receive a free hamburger.

  4. Portlan

    Jimmy John’s should not even be able to have a business in the first place he’s a trophy hunter payback from that beautiful dead elephant was a bitch

    1. Jeff

      I hated him for what he did, but thankfully, he no longer owns the company. Jimmy John Liautaud sold the company in 2020 to Inspire Brands. He is 100% out and with that I finally would go back if they ever open a shop near me.

  5. AndrewCullinane

    Happens to the best. That is the name of .y H S cum who got caught. 3 yrs in the Pen.

  6. Jennifer Labanz

    Oh wow. Didn’t realize the IRS was the ultimate secret arbitor of justice.
    I mean, who knew?

  7. Carol

    As I listen to the news, read the papers I feel saddened by all of the garbage that is almost the “norm” now.
    Well, I’m here to tell you it isn’t the “norm”. If you find that the people you are befriending are giving you hints that they are not of the caliber your used to,, it’s time to find new friend’s. There are plenty of wonderful people out there. Open your eyes, put a big, honest smile on your face and your” on your way”.

  8. Lisa

    Actual money loss, nothing was mentioned about the inventory loss. How did that get offset?

    1. Bart

      $100 revenue loss = $50 inventory loss + $50 profit loss

  9. Michael

    Thieves are a drain on society. At what point in life do people decide its cool to be the bad guy? Back in the day a band called The Who wrote a song called “behind blue eyes” and mention once or twice that no-one knows what it’s like to be the bad man. Nowadays 80% it seems know exactly what it’s like. I’m not sure if it was being raised by my grandparents or my time in the military that enstilled a sense of self standards that require me to earn what I have. Everyone struggles in life no matter their background or social status why would you want to make it worse for anyone. Keep an eye on your kids.. when they play pretend and one yells I’m Lex Luther you may have a problem… these companies that have to deal with theft do say by raising prices for the honest customers. Not to get revenge simply to stay in business( this is why everything is more expensive in empoverished areas.. so all u thieves out there Google Integrity and you will learn a whole vocabulary of words you’ve never heard and begin to serve some purpose other than breathing up my air.. otherwise go chew on a plate of dix with a side of smashed a$$ wholes..
    Have a nice day

    1. Sarah

      You mention that’s why everything is more expensive in impoverished areas. What you don’t address is the social and institutionalized problems that create impoverished areas. Mr holier than thou. It’s easier to be honest when you start out at least at square One rather than in the negative. Your long comment demonstrates self pride and lack of insight into social problems that contribute to people stealing to survive. Of course we want an honest society. That is why we need to create a more just society. Mr oh so good. I could echo most of the things that you said except the part where you lose any empathy or understanding for the problems of humanity. Honesty is always the best policy. That doesn’t mean it’s always the best way for someone to get their stomach filled, sadly. And the other thing your comment negates is the fact that white collar crime is rampant. Recognize that in this story it was the best paid employees that were skimming, embezzling, stealing. They were not the poor ones working for $15 an hour or less depending on the state. Also it is ultimately the robber barons and the billionaires that steal the most from society. And create pockets of impoverishment. While you’re busy with your hubris, maybe expand your mind, or get an education.

  10. Andrew

    I hope they get turned into the IRS. That’s better than any local judge.

  11. evermore

    In some (most, all?) US states, they’re legally required to offer a receipt. With cameras watching the till, and either having to use a key or ring up a “no sale” to open it, how would they get away with this for long enough to get so much? (So few people use cash now, this would take a lot longer than it would have 20 years ago.) How did the owner not notice his daily/weekly costs were drastically high relative to his recorded sales? Why would he even need to put such a specific cause on the sign? Do customers need to know anything other than “due to unforeseen circumstances”?

    1. Popp maxx

      Sounds like he had some friends or family members working as “managers”(a married couple) and disregarded every security red flag known to man since the fast food industry was created. No other employees saw them doing this and usually managers aren’t ringing up food ,I guess unless it’s hellabusy. Taking in that amount of money has to be a busy azz JJ so it’s got to be more employees. AND NOBODY KNEW THEY WERE DOING THIS? Just the 2 of them? I’m curious as to where everybody else was. That’s puzzling me.

      1. john Clark

        in many small sandwich shops the only employee working is the manager. There is not lower level staff.

        1. David

          It was a two person team, a couple. Working both sides of the drive thru. The other employees doing cleaning or making sandwiches, don’t know the if the customer is paying cash and if that cash is going into the register.

  12. Yolanda

    I feel sorry for people who have no self respect or integrity. When you don’t know how to value yourself, it’s easy to disrespect others. I guess they thought they would get away with it. Not too bright…

  13. Mark

    For those thinking the couple have a right to be crooks because they don’t make much money, taking orders at a drive-thru is a fairly easy job. And the owner was even willing to give them Monday and Tuesday off, which is not common in higher paying jobs.

    You can’t pay the people doing easy jobs as much as the people doing hard jobs, because then no one will work hard. Without hard work, overall quality of life for everyone in society degrades. Basically this was already proven by the Soviet Union.

    But when people with easy jobs aren’t even willing to be ethical, they are basically asking to have their easy job replaced by robots. Then no more easy jobs, only hard jobs. And lazy people go extinct. If you’re going to be lazy, at least be honest.

    1. Bob

      Bold to assume they were lazy or doing easy work. The article stated they were both managers, so I guarantee the hours were long and they had many more responsibilities than taking orders. In addition, since when is it a favor to let employees have 2 days off a week? The only thing kind about it was that he let them have the same 2 days off. I’m not saying them stealing is ok. It isn’t at all and I wouldn’t blame the owner to prosecute them, but you are reading a whole lot into this based on your own beliefs that aren’t present in the story.

  14. Spank-Spank

    The thieves hurt a small local business, much more than Jimmy John’s himself, he only get’s a small percentage.
    Al Capone went to Alcatraz for tax embezzlement.

  15. Dan Tyler

    Reads like it was written by a 3rd grader!

  16. Scotty Keith Dean

    That drive-thru must do a TON of business if $100k could get siphoned off without the owner noticing – though the article doesn’t mention over how many years – one? Ten? I own a ‘truly’ small business, not in fast-food, that before the pandemic grossed $250-$350 k a year. I was caught out by a supposed ‘friend’ from a social group who I hired because he needed a steady job. After a year plus, SOB was trusted with money in safe, where he then lifted $10-$100 a day…….

  17. P.D.

    On the same track: “Never leave an eating establishment without a receipt.”

    Damn right. The first thing your lawyer will ask you after that food poisoning bout that kept you in hospital for several days will be, “Do you have the receipt?”

    Saves a lot of time being Deposed by the opposing partys’ counsel.

  18. Cameron Rogers

    I hope they spend the rest of their lives in prison for this. That’s alot of money and I know what it’s like to pay franchise dues back to a company. This owner is gonna be repaying this for awhile.

  19. AndrewL2O

    I wonder if that was made by a “Professional” scammer or just an employee who worked there quite some time and devised such a scheme out of boredom.

  20. Ken L.

    i always pay with credit card but they (McDonald’s) still ask me if i want a receipt. why is that ?

    1. ChristineW

      Another way to keep people honest. Overcharging your card is another method of scamming: your order totals $7.50 but they charge your card $15. If your receipt doesn’t match what you think you spent, you can complain right then and there; without a receipt, how would you prove anything?

  21. Ken Li

    i always pay with credit card and they (McDonald’s) still ask me if i want receipt. Why ?

  22. Mike

    I am deeply saddened by the responses supporting this theft. WE pay for these crimes… higher food prices, higher insurance rates, even the inconvenience of missing out on a sandwich while the business was temporarily closed. Yet, these same trolls will sit in a theater and cheer Batman for throwing muggers off a skyscraper.

  23. Christoph

    Same advice I have heard here in my country:
    If the police cannot be bothered or does not have the resources to investigate a scammer, phisher, fraudster that as a financial institution you have clearly identified and laid out nicely for them: Take it to the tax man.
    THEY WANT THEIR MONEY and they have the resources to go after unpaid taxes 😉

  24. See

    I am appalled at some of these replies. There has to be something said about this younger generation. They have no morals no ethics … zero Integrity. I blame the parents… This is learned somewhere!

  25. Ian. Burke

    It’s a real shame that people can be so ignorant (unaware), that we are all accountable for our actions! The two managers were intrusted to run the company and were paid very good! $57,500 each! It sounds to me that they got greedy and wanted more! We all reap what we sow in life! You sow corruption you reap the same! God will repay vengeance! They think they got away with it, but what we all have to do is Repent for all of our sins! My mother always told me, “Honesty is the best policy” I guess it is all in the upbringing…. The two managers probably never got those words of wisdom….We all learn and live from our mistakes! Jimmy John’s should check up on their employees regularly to see what the employees are doing…. And very importantly, the should regularly use security cameras to deter theft and keep people honest, and if something happens then they have live video footage of anything that goes wrong!!! Good Luck!

  26. William G

    I hope they are forced to pay it all back with interest. Damn low life’s.

  27. rassalas

    Husband and wife management pair. This is why Nepotism is a bad business practice…

  28. Eda Lynn

    I can’t believe the number of people who are advocating for this crime. Apparently they paid little attention in school when they were being taught elementary economics.
    I’ll guarantee these are the same people complaining about rising prices. It’s unfortunate that they can’t grasp a simple concept ….. you steal, you drive prices up because someone has to pay for what was stolen. If the stolen merchandise has to be paid for then our (the consumer) costs go up because the cost of the stolen merchandise is spread out amongst the consumers in the form of higher prices. Not difficult to understand by my understanding of basic economics but apparently these idiots wishing the thieves well fail to grasp the concept.
    It says a great deal about one’s character when they encourage others to steal.
    Yes, I realize my comments are falling on deaf ears but maybe one will see error of their ways, lol.
    It’s sad to think that one can be so greedy that in spite of making a six figure salary between the two of them they still have to steal. The epitome of sociopathic behavior.
    What does it say about the parents who raised them.
    I hope they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and they receive a maximum sentence. I know it won’t happen but I sure wish it would!

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