Affidavit: SeaWorld staffer voids tickets, pockets $116,000

AP News
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Posted: May 17, 2016 4:08 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A SeaWorld supervisor facing "uncontrollable debt" has been charged with stealing as much as $116,000 from the company's Aquatica water park in Orlando.

Lisa Olivardia, who had worked for SeaWorld for almost 30 years, is free on $105,000 bond after her arrest Saturday on charges of grand theft and scheme to defraud.

An Orange County Sheriff's investigation found that 50-year-old Olivardia voided ticket sales and pocketed the money while working in the guest relations department. She also took money from the cash drawers of other employees while they were on breaks, according to the sheriff's affidavit.

Olivardia was caught last November and fired after a company investigator saw her making the voids on surveillance video, the affidavit said.

Between 2013 and 2015 alone, she voided between $55,000 and $75,000 worth of tickets each year, about triple the rate of her co-workers, and would hide the cash in white envelopes in her pockets, the affidavit said.

SeaWorld said it employs "extensive security measures" to identify theft or fraud. "The safety of our guests and ambassadors and the well-being of our animals are our highest priority," a company statement said.

Olivardia didn't respond to a voicemail message, and court records showed no lawyer representing her.

According to the affidavit, Olivardia told detectives that she committed the crimes.

"'I did it all," she told investigators, adding that she was surprised she wasn't caught sooner, according to the affidavit.

"She repeatedly explained that she had uncontrollable debt and that she was very willing to make restitution for the thefts," the affidavit said.